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Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has welcomed a significant drop in the number of people going into police custody as a result of mental health issues.

New figures for 2015-16 show a 59% reduction in West Mercia in the last year, despite a significant increase in the number of people detained under section 136 powers.

Out of a total of 911 people detained, just 15 were taken into police custody. The rest were taken to a more appropriate designated place of safety, run by health professionals.

John Campion said: “These figures demonstrate some real progress. First and foremost, it is a better result for people suffering from mental health crises, who now have better access to proper, specialist help in an appropriate setting

“This is an area where we have seen much more effective partnership work and the benefits are clear. The police and health services have defined roles and need to stick to them, but should also be able to help each other. The police are clearly more aware of and responsive to mental health issues, whilst having more proper places of safety from health services also eases pressure on police resources.”

“The priority now must be sustaining this progress and building on it and I look forward to working with our partners to achieve even better results.”

Posted on Friday 9th September 2016