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Mentally Unwell Being Locked Up, Rather Than Being Cared For

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HMIC have carried out a report, which has revealed that mentally ill children and adults are being sent into police custody and unfairly criminalised instead of healthcare centres.

The HMIC report was focused around 3 main groups: minors, people who were mentally unwell and people from ethnic minorities. During the investigation the HMIC (accompanied with HMI Prisons, Care Quality Commission and the Healthcare Inspectorate) conducted the report on five local police forces and three boroughs in the Metropolitan Police Service.

During the inspection they found that most of the people taken in by the police were cared for with respect and treated very well; they tried to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals but due to lack of experience dealing with mentally ill individuals, they did not follow the correct procedures when dealing with them.

The report also suggested that cases involving mentally ill individuals were taking up large amounts of police time, considering they are often not the best first point of contact.

The report also showed that many incidents were not being properly logged by the police preventing them addressing any mistreatment of the mentally ill whilst in custody that would have reflected in the data if logged properly, showing that there needs to be more done if the police are to be monitored correctly.

Another area of concern highlighted in the report was that the police were the first point of contact for incidents involving mentally ill individuals, as apposed to the appropriate healthcare centres and authorities.

 

Find the full 212-page report here http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/wp-content/uploads/the-welfare-of-vulnerable-people-in-police-custody.pdf

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