HOME OFFICE DATA ON POLICE CUSTODY AND MENTAL HEALTH DETENTIONS
The release of Home Office data on police custody and mental health detentions supports and enables greater transparency in policing, work which is already being driven by PCCs across England and Wales.
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s (APCC) Mental Health & Custody leads continue to encourage policing colleagues to review this data and to identify areas of progress and improvement, particularly situations where police and partners can do more to divert people away from custody.
Joint lead PCC Lisa Townsend said:
“Police and Crime Commissioners must continue to work with their Chief Constables and partners to reduce the use of police custody as a place of safety. These Home Office figures show the vast majority of people detained by police under the Mental Health Act are taken to a health-based place of safety, ensuring access to essential medical care.
“While there will always be cases where the police need to be involved in responding to someone in mental health crisis, PCCs are working with police and partners to reduce inappropriate police involvement and support access to mental health services through the National Partnership Agreement in England.”
Fellow joint lead PCC Emily Spurrell commented:
“PCCs have a key role in delivering effective oversight and scrutiny of policing on behalf of the communities they serve. By working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to launch national Custody Detention Scrutiny Panel Guidance, we have helped deliver new opportunities for the public to scrutinise police custody and to make a real difference.
“These panels bring members of the community and police together to review a range of cases including strip searches, use of force and time spent in custody, which are key areas of policing that we absolutely must get right.”
Home Office data on PACE police powers and procedures is for all forces in England and Wales for the period up to 31 March 2023.
Lisa Townsend is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.
Emily Spurrell is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.