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Humberside Police Reviews Mental Health Response

Humberside Police Reviews Mental Health Response

Published by Jon Burke at 6:31am 11th October 2019. (Updated at 6:49am 11th October 2019)

An East Riding councillor is welcoming a decision by Humberside Police to delay any final decision about its involvement in cases involving individuals with mental health needs.

The force has been considering reducing its support in responding to incidents relating to mental health.

It says its officers often aren't the right people to deal with those situations and it should be left to other more specialist agencies, who need to be more available - especially at night and during the weekend.

The council's Lead for Adult and Carer Services, Vanessa Walker, said:

"I have had some communication from Humberside Police and had some reassurances that they have listened to what their System Leader Partners are saying and, in fact , they now have agreed that they are not going to undertake this action and that there will now be ongoing discussions."

 

Humberside Police's DCC Chris Rowley said:

"Protecting vulnerable people and keeping people safe is our top priority as a force and I can reassure Cllr Walker that we share her concerns and would never make a decision about our resources that would put people in danger.

It is important however, that vulnerable people are given the right support when they need it and all too often police officers are left, as the service of last resort, looking after people with mental health or social care needs.

The skills and support that vulnerable people who are in crisis need are often not those of a police officer and we feel that it is imperative that partners from policing, social care, mental health and other agencies each have a role to play.

We have asked our partners to be part of some work to identify where the gaps are in their own services so that we can work together to ensure the right service is provided to people at the right time – often evenings or at weekends.  We are in the process of having these conversations with partners and hope that the outcome will be that vulnerable people receive a more appropriate service and the support they need.

It's important to say that we are not presenting a fait accompli, but that we are asking partner agencies to review their services to ensure that vulnerable people who need mental health and social care services are not left in the hands of the police during evenings and weekends.  The support services they require need to be available 24/7 and we will work with partners to support them whilst they make the relevant adjustments to meet the needs of their service users."

 

 

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