Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner, said today that people with mental health problems should receive appropriate care, not a custody cell.
Speaking in Mental Health Awareness Week the Commissioner said: “Someone with a broken leg gets clear-cut medical care. Someone in mental health crisis similarly needs medical care and I’m pleased to say, thanks to a successful multi-agency agreement in Derbyshire, that it is extremely rare for a person to be held in a police custody cell as an appropriate place of safety and this would only occur if the level of violence is unthinkable in a healthcare setting.”
The Commissioner has been at the forefront of partnership arrangements for the Derbyshire Mental Health Concordat, leading this area on behalf of Alan Charles, the former PCC, since 2014.
Today he explained that he is determined to ensure that people undergoing a mental health crisis can access the type of help and support that they need, when they need it. Mr Dhindsa added that a streamlined multi-agency approach will not only deliver better care for someone undergoing a mental health episode, but will also reduce the pressure across a wide range of statutory, and non-statutory agencies, including the police, acute care wards, emergency health care and the ambulance service.
“We must support people experiencing mental health problems so that they become neither a victim nor a perpetrator through no fault of their own. But the police cannot do this alone. I will build on the achievements to date, working with our partner agencies, to develop the most appropriate working practices for those experiencing mental health problems.
“The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat has focussed effort and we have made real progress, but there is more that we can do, and we need to get on and do it!”
The Commissioner’s comments come as the Queen’s Speech earlier today (18 May 2016) highlighted planned legislation to ensure better mental health provision for individuals in the criminal justice system.
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Posted on Wednesday 18th May 2016