Police Custody: Mental Illness

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department collects information on the age, ethnicity and gender of people with mental illnesses detained in police custody.

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

The Home Office does not collect this information centrally. The Home Office collates information recorded by police forces on the age, ethnicity and gender of people arrested on suspicion of a criminal offence, but not specifically in relation to mental ill health. Last October the Home Secretary announced plans to work with forces to pilot the collection of data on people detained under section 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act. This will capture the age, ethnicity, and gender of people detained, as well as the place of safety used, including the use of police cells. The initiative is voluntary in 2015/16 with a view to it becoming a mandatory part of the Home Office’s Annual Data Requirement for all forces in England and Wales from 2016/17. National figures will be based on aggregated data and it will not be possible to provide a detailed breakdown of the age, ethnicity or gender of those people taken to police custody as opposed to another place of safety.

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