Police: Accident and Emergency Departments

Home Department written question – answered on 21st July 2014.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the amount of police time spent in accident and emergency departments accompanying people with mental illness.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Data on the amount of police time spent in accident and emergency departments accompanying people with mental illness is not collected by the Home Department.

Various studies have attempted to quantify the amount of police time spent dealing with mental health issues, which may include officers’ attendance in accident and emergency departments. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service estimated (for the Independent Commission on Mental Health and Policing, published in May 2013) that mental health issues accounted for at least 20% of police time.

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, published by the Government in February 2014, makes clear the standard of response that people experiencing a mental health crisis should expect. The Concordat includes an action for the Home Office, with policing partners and Public Health England, to develop a toolkit to enable the police to quantify the demand for responses to people in mental health crisis, including whether they were taken to Accident and Emergency Departments. The toolkit will be tested later this summer by three police forces.

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