APCC response to Mental Health legislation announcement

17/06/2019

Mental Health draft legislation announced

The Government has today committed to ban the use of police cells as a place of safety for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Mental Health Lead, Matthew Scott, welcomed the move, saying: “It’s great that the Prime Minister is taking forward the recommendation I made through the Mental Health Act Review. I and others have been campaigning for this for a long time and I’m glad we’ve finally got there.

“Police officers and staff will always do the best they can to look after a person in crisis, but cells are not the most appropriate place for someone in crisis to be taken to. Police Chiefs, to their credit, have already been voluntarily working in recent years to reduce the instances of that happening, but at the moment there simply is not enough alternative capacity within the NHS.

“The increased Government investment into mental health services now needs to translate into more alternative places of safety before the ban comes in, in a few years time. Only then will we see people in crisis always getting the right care from the right person at the right time.”

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