The police and crime commissioner has said a scheme to help reduce the number of people with mental health issues placed in police cells in Dorset has reached its target.
Since June 2014 the Mental Health Street Triage service has given support and advice to officers, reports the BBC.
July 2015 saw the first month of no-one with a mental health problem taken into custody.
The triage service sees mental health practitioner’s assisting police officers on patrol in county on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. There are also mental health professionals located in police control rooms to advise officers on assessing the mental health of a person.
PCC Martyn Underhill said taking people experiencing a mental health crisis to a police custody suite was “demeaning, criminalising and completely inappropriate”.
He said 41 adults and children in crisis were helped in July, who otherwise may have been taken to a police station.
“We always set the target of zero and to reach that is amazing. Those people have all gone into healthcare settings – that’s the appropriate thing to do. Twenty percent of police work now is mental health-related, so reducing that demand on resources is obviously another target.”
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