Figures show police faced 300,000 incidents involving people with mental health issues in 2016.
300000 mental health police incidents
Frighteningly, last year the UK police dealt with almost 300,000 incidents involving people suffering mental health illnesses! That isn’t to say of course that all of those incidents involved someone breaking the law. Quite often, when a sufferer of mental illness goes into crisis, the first port of call is the police. Are they to become the “Mental Health Police”?
South Wales highest number of mental health police incidents
A Freedom of Information Act showed in 2016 that 296,773 incidents were recorded. South Wales Police had the highest number of 38712. Nottinghamshire Police having the second highest number of incidents at 19,973. North Wales had the lowest of 766. A political think tank called Parliament Street obtained the data.
Danny Bowman is a mental health spokesman for Parliament Street and he said:
These findings reveal the shocking numbers of mental health issues now being dealt with by police forces across the country. It’s time to recognise that Britain needs a better funded strategic plan to make sure people who are suffering with mental health problems are properly cared for by specialist health services.
– DANNY BOWMAN
Police are first in contact with mental health sufferers
Paul Farmer who is the chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said:
Mental health is core police business. Getting people the right help as early as possible means people can manage their mental health, are less likely to end up in crisis and, ultimately, will cut pressure on all emergency services.
– PAUL FARMER
He also said that police officers are very often the first people in contact with “people in mental health crisis”. He said it was important they had the right support, including support from NHS mental health services. Paul Farmer called for further investment to help people before they reach crisis point.