Foreword

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), now in its 175th year, has a long tradition of working with doctors. In fact, the origin of the forensic physician (police surgeon) as we know him or her today, dates from the passing by Parliament of The Metropolitan Act, which received Royal Assent in June of 1829. Since then, there are records of doctors being "appointed" to the police to provide medical care to detainees and examine police officers while on duty.

The MPS has been involved in the training of doctors for more than 20 years, and has been at the forefront of setting the highest standards of working practices in the area of clinical forensic medicine. Only through an awareness of the complex issues regarding the medical care of detainees in custody and the management of complainants of assault can justice be achieved. The MPS, therefore, has worked in partnership with the medical profession to ensure that this can be achieved.

The field of clinical forensic medicine has developed in recent years into a specialty in its own right. The importance of properly trained doctors working with the police in this area cannot be overemphasized. It is essential for the protection of detainees in police custody and for the benefit of the criminal justice system as a whole. A book that assists doctors in the field is to be applauded.

Sir John Stevens

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