PCC pledges commitment to tackling mental health
Matthew Scott has met with the Kent Police Superintendents’ Association to discuss his plan to revolutionise the way people with mental health issues interact with the police.
Undertaking a detailed review of how and why mentally ill people come into contact with the force is just one of the promises in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Six Point Plan.
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, Mr Scott said:
‘Mental health is an issue I care deeply about. Police officers are estimated to spend around a fifth of their time dealing with cases involving mental health.
‘Furthermore, one in four people experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Police officers suffer from stress, anxiety and depression just like anyone else so it’s clearly an important issue.
‘As I told the Kent Superintendents’ Association, I want to make sure our police officers can focus their time on tackling crime. I will be looking closely at schemes such as placing mental health triage nurses on patrol with police officers, as has happened previously in Kent, to see what can be done with partner agencies like the health service to help.’
Mr Scott added:
‘I was particularly pleased to hear in the Queen’s Speech about the Government’s plans to make sure there is better mental health provision for people in the criminal justice system. Kent Police officers sometimes have to wait with people with mental health issues for hours because there is no safe place in the NHS for that person to go.
‘Having the provision for vulnerable people to get the best possible care is important for them, and it frees up officers to spend more time on community policing.’
The Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner will be taking part in a mental health-themed Twitter Q&A tomorrow evening (Thursday 19 May) hosted by Insp Michael Brown from the College of Policing. Follow @MentalHealthCop on Twitter to take part between 8-9pm.