MPs call for end to detention of mentally ill people in police cells

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A report by the Home Affairs Select Committee has called for an end to the detention of people sectioned under the Mental Health Act in police cells, reports BBC News. Over 6,000 adults and 200 children with mental health problems were held in police cells in England and Wales last year due to a shortage of NHS spaces. Two of the eleven people who died in police custody in 2013/14 were being detained under the Mental Health Act. 

In November 2014 an Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police revealed on Twitter that a 16 year old girl in the middle of a mental health crisis had been detained in a police cell for 48 hours because of a shortage of NHS beds. Weeks later the Home Secretary announced that police cells were no longer to be used as places of safety for teenagers with mental health problems.