Here are some of the main points:

  • 46% of calls to the police are mental health related. That means that when someone calls 999/101, the call will be logged as mental health related which could mean the combination of a mental health condition or crime or that someone with a mental health condition needs help
  • Mental Health Police Liaison Officers liaise between the police and the mental health trusts and private hospitals. They work hard to improve things going forward. They also provide training and give advice and guidance to police officers dealing with a mental health related case and how best to deal with that individual e.g. by using de-escalation techniques including turning down the radio, taking the hat off and getting to that person’s level and speaking to them
  • They are the experts for the police in mental health, identify the most vulnerable people and try to put a care plan for them in place if possible for example if someone is often detained under Section 136 then they would arrange a multi-disciplinary team meeting around the individual and ensure they are properly cared for to try and prevent it from happening again
  • You do not get a criminal record for having been detained under Section 136
  • Section 136 (S136) is part of the Mental Health Act. The Mental Health Act is the law. S136 means that the police have the power to remove you from a public place.
  • There have been recent changes to Section 136 which have not yet been implemented. Importantly, the changes mean that someone can no longer be detained for up to 72 hours but needs to be assessed by a mental health professional within 24 hours. The onus is on the health professionals to get the assessment done
  • The police have three core purposes: Prevent crime, uphold the peace, save life and prevent injury if possible
  • Concerns have been raised in the past about the heavy-handedness of police officers and police being a bit violent in order to getting control of situation. Training is being provided for police officers in how to deal with mental health cases. However, the police must ensure their own safety also.
  • The culture change has been that the police don’t want to be seen as an authoritarian figure that is going to get people into trouble. The police is there to help people and want people to come to the police for help
  • In a non-emergency call 101