East Lancashire courts see funding for mental health support
A £1.4m funding boost has been given to Lancashire to help extend the work of mental health staff in the county’s police stations and courts.
The scheme helps to ensure that police stations in Blackburn and Burnley have weekend cover from ‘Liaison and Diversion’ workers. Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington magistrates courts also see the same service, which was previously only covered Monday to Friday and available to adults only, however it will now be extended to under 18’s too, reports The West Mooreland Gazette.
The team works to identify, assess and refer people who have mental health conditions when entering the criminal justice system.
Sue Tighe, network director for specialist services at Lancashire Care, said: “We are really pleased to be part of this scheme. Having the resources in-house to identify an individual’s healthcare needs means the appropriate treatment and rehabilitation can be provided. In turn, this may also help to reduce the risk of reoffending and improve overall health and wellbeing. Increasing funding to enable this to continue seven-days-a-week is fantastic and will provide prompt care and support for anyone who requires our assistance.”
The scheme has been running for 13 years however this funding boost will now see it available at weekends and for younger people.
Steve Sansbury, chief inspector at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “The Liaison and Diversion teams within our police custody suites already provide an invaluable service that assists us in dealing with some very challenging and often vulnerable individuals. The extension of the service to seven days a week and covering all ages, as opposed to just adults, is another stride forward in enhancing our ability to safely and professionally deal with detainees who are arrested and who may have mental health issues or other vulnerabilities. This service assists us in carrying out our role of investigating crime, whilst at the same time referring people into appropriate services, with a view to preventing further re-offending, thereby reducing the risk of crime within our communities.”
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