Mental Health & Policing
It’s estimated 1 in 4 Londoners are living with mental health needs, the Met is increasingly encountering members of the public experiencing a crisis or needing other help, either as a victim, witness or suspect.
The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan states that between April 2013 and March 2015, London experienced a 64 per cent increase in the number of criminal incidents involving mental health. A recent report on mental health and policing by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) states that the Met receives a call about a mental health concern once every four minutes and sends an officer to respond to a mental health-related call every 12 minutes.
The Met has previously been criticised for the way it responds to people with mental health needs. In 2013 a review by Lord Victor Adebowale concluded that “mental health is part of the core business of policing” but found failings in systems, procedures and the behaviour of individual police officers.
The London Assembly Police & Crime Committee has recently examined the ways in which the Met supports its officers to respond to people with mental health needs. It has written to the Mayor calling for him to urge the Met Police to improve the way its officers respond to those with mental health needs.
The Committee has made a number of recommendations, some of which are:
- Every officer is well trained to identify and attend to mental health needs
- Every officer can promptly refer people to appropriate mental health services
- There is effective monitoring of the impact of the Met’s response to mental health