Improve mental health joint working arrangements
This commitment was originally set whilst the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) was the national PCC lead for mental health, a role that he has subsequently stepped down form. However, the Commissioner remains passionate about mental health issues and their impact on crime, policing and community safety. The Policing and Crime Act 2017 contained a wide range of measures, one of which was to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces, including through closer collaboration with other emergency services.” As a result the PCC was keen to ensure that existing collaboration arrangements were developed further and were also mindful of improving joined up in responses to those suffering from mental ill health.
The Dorset Crisis Care Concordat is a commitment from all health, emergency services and local authority partners locally to improve the care for people in mental health crisis. By working more closely together, a number of initiatives and improvements have been introduced in recent years.
Such services include Street Triage, where police officers have access to trained mental health practitioners to support and advise them when encountering individuals with poor mental health.
Similarly, the Criminal Justice Liaison & Diversion Scheme assesses individuals detained in police custody and refers them onto specialist services where mental health or other issues are present.
Dorset Police have also employed a dedicated Mental Health Strategic Coordinator; supported by dedicated Mental Health Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) across the Force, to ensure that officers and staff receive the training, guidance and information that they need, along with engaging with partners to develop and enhance joint working arrangements.