Mental health and policing


The Home Secretary Rt Hon Suella Braverman has today, Thursday 23 February, written to Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners to set out details and timings of work by partners to address mental health demand. 

APCC Lead for Mental Health Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey, Lisa Townsend, said: “Police officers across the country are increasingly becoming the first port of call when someone is suffering mental health crisis when what they really need is proper medical intervention and support from health care professionals.

“This all too often results in our already over-stretched police officers, who are doing their best to keep our communities safe, being diverted away from their core duties.

“At a time when demand for our policing service has never been higher, we should not be putting even more pressure on our police officers by asking them to act as mental health practitioners in often difficult situations.

“This is a crucial issue for policing and a longer-term solution has been desperately needed for some time. Having met with the Policing Minister to raise PCCs’ concerns, I welcome the government’s commitment to work with policing and health to improve the situation and agree this new national partnership. 

“We know this issue cannot be resolved overnight but hopefully this is a big step in the right direction. I and my PCC colleagues will work tirelessly alongside police chiefs and local health partners to help realise this much needed change in direction, helping policing get back to its core duties and ensuring vulnerable people get the appropriate help and care they deserve.”

Read full letter from Home Secretary here.  


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