The Department of Health and Social Care has published an interim report on the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, summarising the work of the Review so far. In response, Matthew Scott, the APCC Lead on Mental Health and PCC for Kent, said:
“Around one third of all police time is spent dealing with cases involving mental health. While there will always be a role for policing to play in dealing with mental health cases, a uniformed officer who has been trained to fight crime is not a health professional.
“It was with this fact in mind that I joined the Mental Health Act’s independent review panel on behalf of all PCCs. I welcome the publication of the interim report and the progress made so far.
“Professor Sir Simon Wessely has rightly identified that those with the most severe forms of mental illness have the greatest needs and yet are most likely to be subject to the influence and powers of the Mental Health Act. The 1983 Act is simply out-of-step with what we now recognise as best practice and I look forward to continuing to help shape the recommendations which will hopefully make the Act work better for policing, the health services and – most importantly – vulnerable people.”