From Suicide Prevention to Homicide Prevention

Thursday, 07 October 2021

From 1900 to 2030

zoom meeting

From Suicide Prevention to Homicide Prevention:  the role of situational crime prevention

Professor John Crichton, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland & Honorary Professor University of Edinburgh.

John Crichton grew up on a farm in West Lothian. Early influences included his uncle's suicide and his father's traumatic memories of war. John’s Grandfather Robert Crichton CBE was Convenor of West Lothian Council and Chair of West Lothian Hospital’s Board from the establishment of the NHS to 1961; and was a frequent visitor to Bangour.

John's interest in psychiatry developed during his time at Nottingham Medical School. After a house job in Shetland, he trained in psychiatry at Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge. He was awarded the Nightingale Research Studentship at Trinity Hall and The Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University. During his doctoral research, he developed an interest in homicide and published his first book in 1995 – ‘Psychiatric Patient Violence, Risk and Response’. He has gone on to publish over 60 peer review publications and numerous book chapters. His current main research interest is homicide reduction. For the last 20 years, John has been an honorary fellow at University of Edinburgh School of Law where he teaches a module on the Criminology MSc. After his PhD, he was a clinical lecturer in Learning Disability at University of Cambridge before becoming clinical lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry at University of Edinburgh.

In 2000, John became a consultant at the newly opened Orchard Clinic, Scotland’s first medium secure psychiatric unit and later supported the creation of the Forensic Mental Health Managed Clinical Care Network, becoming its Medical Director. He created the ‘Matrix of Security’ and risk management traffic lights system – used across Scotland to enhance patient safety. John was instrumental in bringing about the national training program in Forensic Psychiatry. In 2017 John was elected Chair of the RCPsych in Scotland and Vice President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK. John has also been elected the new Treasurer for the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK, taking office in a few short weeks.


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