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College of Policing response to Equality and Human Rights Commission report

Chief Bakes

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The report, Preventing Deaths in Detention of Adults with Mental Health Conditions, outlines the work the College of Policing is doing to improve standards and training in the police response to mental health

College of Policing national co-ordinator for mental health Inspector Michael Brown said:

“The report published today echoes the recent findings of the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into mental health in policing.

“There is a growing demand on frontline police officers and staff in helping those of us suffering mental health difficulties.  While the police service should not be filling gaps in mental health services we need to ensure that we give frontline officers and staff basic training in identifying signs and symptoms.  Officers and staff also need to be equipped with the knowledge of where to divert vulnerable people into a health care setting so that they can receive expert care. That means not using police cells as a place of safety for those detained in distress.

“The College of Policing is leading a review nationally of police standards and training, including looking at the issue of restraint, as highlighted in the report published today. It’s important to see recommendations that recognise the need for partnership working and efforts that need to be made not just in policing, but within the commissioning of health services to ensure there is sufficient crisis care available if we are to properly manage the risks to those vulnerable people in need of care.

“We hope that the recommendations from this Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry and the recent Home Affairs Committee inquiry turn into real action on improving the public sector response to those with mental ill health. The College will play its part in setting national operating guidelines and training standards for policing.”

Notes to Editors

The College of Policing recently published a report estimating demand on police time, which includes multiple references to mental health work including:

  • A national estimate of almost 4m mental health related incidents
  • The numbers of sec 135 and 136 orders have risen over the last 5 years in England
  • Estimates are that S136 detention in police cells alone require 60,000 officer/staff hours per year.

About the College of Policing:

The College of Policing is the professional body for policing. It sets high professional standards to help forces cut crime and protect the public. The College is here to give everyone in policing the tools, skills and knowledge they need to succeed. The College of Policing will enhance the ability of police forces and individuals to deliver their mission of preventing crime and protecting the public.


The College of Policing will:

• Set standards

• Promote evidence-based good practice

• Accredit training providers

• Support partnership working

• Lead on ethics and integrity

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