Police Custody - Mental Health Detainees

MQT on 2017-08-10
Session date: 
August 10, 2017
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Police custody is under the spotlight again and police forces are under pressure to support detainees suffering from mental health crises and prevent deaths. With changes in Policing and Crime Act can you update what is the Met Police doing to improve the situation to support mental health detainees?


Answer for Police Custody - Mental Health Detainees

Answer for Police Custody - Mental Health Detainees

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Improving access to mental health services, including for those in crisis and/or in police custody, is one of my top priorities in my Health Inequality Strategy. The Metropolitan Police Service has been developing its response to the growing number of people with mental ill health coming into contact with officers for some time and certainly prior to the enactment of the Policing and Crime Act (PACA) 2017.  

The police play a key role in identifying and managing vulnerable individuals within the community and there has been significant progress in reducing the number of Section 136 detentions in police custody.   This has been achieved by ensuring officers are trained to identify detainees' vulnerabilities  and through working with NHS England to implement street triage schemes and Liaison and Diversion services across London, which provide the MPS with real time access to professional advice and referral pathways into treatment services.  In addition, the MPS has been working with the Healthy London Partnership on the development of the London Section 136 (Mental Health Act) pathway and Health Based Places of Safety Specification, which should ensure that those detained under Section 136 are offered timely, high-quality care, in an appropriate location, that puts their needs first.