Captured By Police


In my whole life I have never been arrested or taken to a police cell so my frequent contact with the police during this difficult time was a shock.

Then when I suffered a psychotic break I was chased like a criminal.

Being put in the back of a police van is quite embarrassing when there is a large crowd of people watching. When I was finally caught there were about 30 people gathered together shouting encouragement and telling me I would be alright.

In The Back Of  A Police Van

Some people advised me to recite parts of the Quran that are believed to protect the person who recites them. I sat in the back of the van and read relevant parts of the Quran from memory.

In my local area the younger residents are quite hostile towards police, more so because of the riots that happened in 2001.

The journey in the back of the police van was sickening and uncomfortable, especially as I was handcuffed too. I retched quite a few times but wasn’t actually sick.

I came into contact with police at least five times before being detained in hospital.

The police station is quite an intimidating place where they take all your belongings such as mobile phones and money and store it away.  They also take your finger prints and carry out an intrusive body search.

Locked In A Cell

The worst part of the experience is being locked in a tiny cell, it is so quiet and still and there are no windows. I managed to sleep and woke up later not knowing what time it was and whether it was day or night. There was a buzzer in the cell which I kept pressing but no one would respond.

The food was horrible but eating is an activity to break the monotonous routine. Sometimes I would hear people walking past my cell and would hope they had come to release me.

I sometimes think about people held in solitary confinement in prisons and isolation rooms in some mental health facilities. I often try to imagine how people feel in prisons like Guantanamo Bay. I know I couldn’t bear to be isolated for a long time.

During this episode I lost all track of time and can’t tell how long I was held in the cell before being transported by van to a hospital in Stockport. It was all a blur to me, as terrible and traumatic things were happening.

When I was arrested they didn’t know that I was mentally unwell or they may have treated me differently.  My psychosis got worse and I kept shouting and banging on the cell door due to frustration. 

When they finally took me out of the cell to take me to the hospital I breathed a sigh of relief and welcomed the freedom. Ironically, I would eventually be detained under a section for almost a year.

Have you ever been held by police and if so how did you cope? Comment below.

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  1. I have spent my life ‘behaving’ or not struggling with mental illness that manifested in certain behaviour i.e. I do all I can to avoid the police.

    I once ran away from my parents as a teen late on a Saturday night and got brought home in a police car.

    I have never been to a police station but might have to go for work soon. I am not looking forward to it.

    I watch 24 Hours in Police Custody and enjoy that programme.

  2. The only time I got arrested was as a school kid, it was pretty minor but they kept me in a cell waiting for my parents. That waiting was the worst and the guilt for causing my family pain was tough to take as well. Too young for the police to do anything to except warn but never went through my mind at the time, not everyone gets the same treatment. Older and wiser now, but I’ll never forget that life lesson.

  3. I am pleased by your outlook on the whole situation! It is always good to look at oneself in the mirror every so often and contemplate ways on inproving oneself, rather than looking at the situation in dismay and doing nothing about it! Well done on your road to recovery!

  4. SutoBhai, just know that wherever, whenever you are you have people you can trust. if they arent physically there, we are. inside your heart, your feelings. In your memories and thoughts. hope will keep you strong. we will all climb the rope of Allah, together and we will reach the top. to joy and freedom.

  5. It’s very sad that you had to go through this, Muhammad and I hope that the experience has strengthened your resilience. It’s good to hear your words. Stay strong.

  6. I’m sorry this happened but we got through it alhamdulillah. Allah make it easy and protect you at all times.

    Thankyou for sharing your experience, you are very brave to share your journey with others. You never fail to inspire.

  7. As Malcolm said “All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”

    Whatever happened, has now past. Let’s try to make the future bright and full of hope!

    Wounds do heal 🙂



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