Police acting as first responders to people with mental ill health

Responding to yesterday’s report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services on Policing and Mental Health, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:

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"Leaving police as first responders to treat people with mental ill health is no good for anyone.

"I’ve seen the brilliant job officers do, but they’re the first to admit that they don’t have the specialist training to provide the level of care required.

"And police time spent providing mental health care is time not spent catching criminals or doing the vital community policing that prevents crime.

"The Tories’ failure to continue the Liberal Democrat focus on improving mental health services has placed a huge extra demand on the police, at a time when they’re also coping with big budget cuts and rising serious violence.

"The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must halt its police cuts and give forces the funding they need, but it must also ensure that extra money for mental health services is spent in a way that relieves pressure on the police."

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