Humberside PCC Appears Before Health Committee
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison appeared before the Health and Social Care Committee this week (Tuesday 19 September) where he gave evidence on the police response to mental health crises and the Right Care Right Person (RCRP) approach pioneered in his force area.
Jonathan appeared alongside Chief Constable Paul Anderson, Humberside Police, and Chief Constable Craig Guildford, West Midlands Police. All panellists shared their views on the misconceptions surrounding the RCRP approach, to which Jonathan said: “The biggest misconception about Right Care Right Person is that it is about demand reduction. It is really about getting the right person to the right care.”
He emphasised the importance of mental health professionals being available from the control room so that related calls can be dealt with appropriately: “A lot of calls represent instances of what can be termed ‘severe life stress’, rather than diagnosed mental health conditions. Callers can be handed over to mental health specialists, who can direct them to relevant services.”
More widely on resourcing pressures, Jonathan said: “Humberside only has around two or three thousand officers, not all of these are neighbourhood and response officers. If there is a vacuum in these areas because these officers are pre-occupied, it represents a clear waste of police resources, and all parties agree on this.”
Jonathan also discussed how he signposted the local scheme to Ministers, and said: “I saw the benefits of this approach very early, but the evidence wasn’t there, it was a new thing and it needed to bed in. Once it had completed its cycle, I took it to the APCC and Paul took it to the NPCC. From that point on the Policing Minister and the Home Secretary got involved.”
To conclude, Jonathan reflected on the overall importance of ensuring police resources are used effectively: “In Humberside, serious violent crime costs the police £45m a year and health services over £18m a year. If more police resources can be dedicated to reducing violent crime, then some of those resources can make their way back the NHS.”
Watch the session in full here.