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Fewer people with mental health problems kept in cells - but demand on police continues to grow

26 Oct 2017

Figures out today show that the number people kept in police cells having been detained under Section 136 has halved since last year. However, this comes as the police service is dealing with a growing number of incidents related to mental health. 

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Mental Health and Policing, Chief Constable Mark Collins said:

“Various measures have shown that the police service is responding to an increased level of demand caused by incidents related to mental health.

“It is never desirable or acceptable for people suffering from mental health problems to be kept in a police cell, so it is promising that the number of vulnerable people kept in custody has halved. This bears testament to the hard work of police forces and healthcare professionals who are committed to ensuring that those in mental health crisis are receiving proper treatment and care. 

“However, police officers are still spending more time than they should be waiting for people in crisis to be admitted for treatment because of understaffing in NHS services.

“We will continue to work closely our NHS partners with the ultimate aim of ending the practice of using police cells for those who are unwell”.