Met police plan to stop attending most mental health calls prompts concern

3 months ago 46

Mental wellness leaders person expressed their interest astatine what volition hap if the Metropolitan constabulary main follows done connected his menace to stop officers attending intelligence wellness calls from September.

They warned “overzealous” 999 telephone handlers could extremity up refusing to dispatch officers to incidents wherever they are needed to support the nationalist “due to mediocre cognition … of the nuances of the law”.

The determination could besides effect successful “people with protected characteristics nether the Equalities Act”, specified arsenic those with a disablement oregon from an taste minority, “being excluded from receiving the aforesaid level of enactment arsenic others”, according to the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) Leads Network, which supports intelligence wellness practitioners crossed England and Wales.

It issued a connection connected Thursday saying it was “concerned astatine the velocity successful which the Met is unilaterally intending to act” aft the commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, gave 31 August arsenic the deadline aft which his unit would halt attending astir exigency calls involving psychiatric crises.

A letter seen by the Guardian earlier this week revealed that Rowley plans to present an inaugural called Right Care Right Person (RCRP) wrong the adjacent 3 months.

First implemented by Humberside constabulary successful 2020, RCRP has freed up truthful galore Humberside officers to bash “back to basics” policing that the unit present has the highest apprehension and detection complaint successful the country. Other areas including North Yorkshire and Lancashire person besides introduced RCRP, with the Home Office saying it volition soon beryllium modular signifier crossed the full of England and Wales via a “national concern agreement”.

The intelligence wellness leaders said that portion they supported the main aims of RCRP, constabulary officers would inactive beryllium needed to be immoderate intelligence wellness calls.

“While we broadly enactment the purpose to trim oregon halt the usage of constabulary wherever much due enactment is oregon should beryllium disposable to enactment an idiosyncratic successful distress, this enactment is based connected the presumption that constabulary clip needs to beryllium escaped to proceed to be intelligence health-related incidents successful situations wherever determination is nary different due bureau to undertake the relation required,” said the AMHP Leads Network successful a statement.

It said constabulary would inactive beryllium needed to support the nationalist harmless successful “situations wherever determination is an incidental oregon important hazard of harm”. This would see the exertion of conception 136 of the Mental Health Act, which allows the constabulary to instrumentality idiosyncratic successful situation to a spot of safety; and conception 135, which enables officers to interruption into someone’s location with a warrant and instrumentality them to hospital.

The intelligence wellness leaders said that erstwhile introduced by different constabulary forces, RCRP has sometimes been “misinterpreted”. This, they warned, could pb to:

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  • People with protected characteristics nether the Equalities Act being excluded from receiving the aforesaid level of enactment arsenic others.

  • Situations successful which applicable organisations are contiguous oregon progressive already, but concurrently constabulary enactment besides being needed and not provided.

  • Situations that conscionable the threshold for constabulary attendance but it being declined owed to mediocre cognition by telephone agents of the nuances of the law, agreements and duties oregon overzealous exertion of the strategy.

The web calls for each agencies successful intelligence wellness situation attraction to “work successful genuine concern and person adjacent power to the improvement of systems capable to negociate the demands successful intelligence wellness situation attraction against the assets pressures which amusement nary motion of decreasing”.

The focus, it said, should yet beryllium “on improving the experiences of susceptible radical successful distress, implicit and supra that of immoderate 1 bureau affected by delays”.

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