Equality News Update: The Scotsman: Police ‘need more support in dealing with distressed people’

Reported by The Scotsman – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

 

More must be done to help police deal with people who are mentally distressed but who do not need to be detained under the Mental Health Act, a report has found.

Research by the Mental Welfare Commission praised the work of Police Scotland in responding to people in distress but said officers required proper support from health and social care staff.
The report identified a lack of local co-ordination in responding to distressed people and highlighted that often large amounts of police time were involved.
The commission was examining the increased use of place of safety orders in Scotland, from 130 notifications in 2006/07 to 1,133 in 2016/17.

The orders can be used by the police to detain a mentally distressed person for up to 24 hours so that they can be assessed by a doctor.

The report identified significant variation in the use of the orders in different areas, with NHS Highland having the highest rate, followed by Orkney and Grampian.
The report identified significant variation in the use of the orders in different areas, with NHS Highland having the highest rate, followed by Orkney and Grampian.

The commission said it was “striking” that few of those who were taken to a place of safety went on to be detained under the Mental Health Act.

Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/police-need-more-support-in-dealing-with-distressed-people-1-4784833

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