Police custody unsuitable for mental health patients

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A ‘crisis care concordat’ signed by 22 national organisations, including the Department of Health, the Home Office and the charity Mind, says police custody should not be used because mental health services are not available, and police cars and other vehicles should not be used as ambulances to transfer patients.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said

‘It's unacceptable that there are incidents where young people and even children can end up in a police cell because the right mental health service isn't available to them’.

This story was reported in The Guardian. Read the government press release and statement here

On the same day Mary O'Hara in The Guardian is critical of an West Midland's Police (WMP) involvement in the suspension of the  twitter feed and website of Michael Brown (aka @MentalHealthCop). Brown has been blogging and tweeting about the complexities and challenges for the police in dealing with people with mental health problems. While a statement from WMP says they are investigating a possible breach of their social media policy, O'Hara says, 'the episode raises fundamental questions about the police's use of social media and throws doubt on claims about transparency'.