APCC welcomes Government recommendations on mental health

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill welcomes a Government report which states that police stations should never be used for under 18s.

APCC welcomes Government recommendations on mental health

The Association of Police and Crime Commisioners (APCC) has welcomed the Government’s recommendations on mental health and policing, which have today been announced by the Minister of State, Department of Health, Norman Lamb and follow a lengthy and robust campaign by Police and Crime Commissioners.

The report of the Government’s review of the operation of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 recommends: 

  • Police stations must never be used for a child or young person aged under 18
  • Making better use of alternative places of safety would be advantageous
  • A maximum period of detention under these sections is too long at 72 hours, and the review therefore proposes reducing this to 24 hours

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the APCC’s Mental Health Working Group, Martyn Underhill said:“PCC’s welcome today’s announcement by Home Secretary, Theresa May. The view of Police and Crime Commissioners is that those who are suffering a mental health crisis – young or old – should not be detained in police cells.

“Police and Crime Commissioners have led a lengthy and robust campaign to ensure that detainees in mental health crisis receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place and I am delighted that in relation to young people our voice has been heard by the Government, and acted upon.

“We will however, continue to lobby the Government on the detention of adults suffering a mental health crisis through the PCC Mental Health Working Group, although whilst detention is still allowed, we do welcome the reduction in detention time from 72 hours to 24 hours.  Additionally the group will continue to lobby for a joined up liaison and diversion scheme for victims and repeat victims of crime suffering from Serious Mental Illness.”

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