PCC joins Mental Health Act review

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been given a voice in a government review of “outdated” mental health laws.

Nov 9, 2017

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been given a voice in a government review of “outdated” mental health laws. Matthew Scott, PCC for Kent and lead on mental health for the Association of PCCs, has been invited to join the independent team launched by the Prime Minister in October to examine the Mental Health Act. The review is being led by psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely and aims to tackle “longstanding injustices and discrimination”. This includes how the legislation is currently used, its impact on the public and disparities in how people in crises are detained. More than 26,000 people were detained under Section 136 of the Act in 2016/17. Mr Scott said: “Mental health is one of the most pressing challenges police forces up and down the country are facing. “With the withdrawal of services in other areas, all too often the police is now the service of first resort when a person experiences a mental health crisis rather than the service of last resort. “Current legislation is outdated – and it is vital that PCCs have a say over what happens next. For example, PCCs are of the belief that a police cell should never be used as a place of safety.”

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