Responding to the HMICFRS report, APCC lead for mental health issues, Matthew Scott PCC, said:
“The fact that HMICFRS found policing deals with a spike in mental health incidents at around 4pm is very telling. Once again we see evidence of policing being used as a 24/7 service of first resort, in the absence of more appropriate services, rather than the emergency service of last resort.
“It is a credit to policing that HMICFRS found strong leadership and governance on mental health across most police forces but, more importantly, the British public neither wants nor expects these issues to fall on UK Policing at all. Residents would much rather the police focused on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in their local neighbourhoods. Policing wants this too but first, following the Budget, health services must be required to provide more crisis prevention care.
“There will always be a role for policing to play in dealing with mental health - supporting vulnerable victims of crime, for example - and in Kent I have commissioned work to better understand the views of victims with mental health issues to ensure they receive the best support possible. This is what police officers should be doing, not spending entire shifts plugging the gaps left by others.”
Read the HMICFRS report here.