600 mentally ill people held in Hampshire police cells in a year

600 mentally ill people held in police cells in a year

600 mentally ill people held in police cells in a year

First published in News

SIX-hundred mentally ill people in Hampshire have been locked up in police cells in the past year.

Chief Inspector Paul Bartolomeo, of Hampshire Constabulary, said police officers detained on average three people a day under the Mental Health Act, including some “on top of buildings and bridges.”

About 900 people a year were taken somewhere secure because of fears for their own safety or public safety.

Only a third were taken to hospital, while the rest were detained in police stations despite guidelines from the Royal College of Physicians stating custody should be a last resort.

That can also result in up to two police officers forced to sit outside their cells to ensure they don’t hurt or kill themselves.

Now Southern Health NHS Foundation, which is responsible for mental health services, is developing an improvement plan together with Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Constabulary.

In Hampshire, the number of NHS facilities where police can take people has been reduced to five with the closure of Woodhaven acute mental health unit in Calmore last July.

Chief Insp Bartolomeo said “challenges” included the availability of suitable alternatives to police cells and long waits for assessment by a doctor and social worker. People in custody should be assessed within two to three hours but in Hampshire the average wait is ten hours.

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Comments (3)

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10:36am Mon 10 Dec 12

sotonwinch09 says...

The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them.
The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them. sotonwinch09
  • Score: 0

10:59am Mon 10 Dec 12

Linesman says...

sotonwinch09 wrote:
The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them.
I agree, but it will not happen when you have a situation where all political parties claim that they are going to cut taxes.

There is no such thing as a Free Dinner. If we want something, we have to pay for it.

Everyone wants a better NHS, so why have political parties not got the balls to got into an election saying that they will increase NI contributions by 5p per week?

That would raise £millions, and provide a lot of the services that are currently missing or short of funding.
[quote][p][bold]sotonwinch09[/bold] wrote: The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them.[/p][/quote]I agree, but it will not happen when you have a situation where all political parties claim that they are going to cut taxes. There is no such thing as a Free Dinner. If we want something, we have to pay for it. Everyone wants a better NHS, so why have political parties not got the balls to got into an election saying that they will increase NI contributions by 5p per week? That would raise £millions, and provide a lot of the services that are currently missing or short of funding. Linesman
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Mon 10 Dec 12

cantthinkofone says...

sotonwinch09 wrote:
The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them.
The police also need much, much more training on how to recognise psychosis and other mental health symptoms, and how to deal with them.

Every year the police unintentionally kill mental health sufferers with their control & restraint techniques.

Put simply - if 6 burly policemen bundle on top of a healthy angry man, then eventually they'll get tired and stop struggling. If 6 burly policemen bundle on top of someone suffering a psychotic episode then they may well continue struggling until their heart gives out and they die.

There are several cases of this kind of thing every year.

The officers can't fairly be blamed if they're not receiving the necessary training. That training needs to be made a priority.
[quote][p][bold]sotonwinch09[/bold] wrote: The NHS needs to step up and find somewhere secure to take on mentally ill people. The police have to take them to custody because there is simply no where else to take them and ambulances refuse to take them.[/p][/quote]The police also need much, much more training on how to recognise psychosis and other mental health symptoms, and how to deal with them. Every year the police unintentionally kill mental health sufferers with their control & restraint techniques. Put simply - if 6 burly policemen bundle on top of a healthy angry man, then eventually they'll get tired and stop struggling. If 6 burly policemen bundle on top of someone suffering a psychotic episode then they may well continue struggling until their heart gives out and they die. There are several cases of this kind of thing every year. The officers can't fairly be blamed if they're not receiving the necessary training. That training needs to be made a priority. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

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