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Exclusive: GMP chief says police 'tied up' dealing with mental illness

by Matt O'Donoghue

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police says his officers are spending more and more time helping vulnerable people with mental health issues.

Sir Peter Fahy says 'it's a scandal' that officers' time is being tied up dealing with people who need psychiatric help.

Meanwhile; the families of people with mental health problems say they're now expected to do the jobs of trained professionals.

NHS England says no funding had been cut for mental health services and that a five year plan is now underway to provide greater support for mental health services.

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Top cop says officers are "tied up" dealing with mental health problems

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy Credit: PA

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police says dealing with mental illness has become the number one issue for his front line officers - and the problem is getting worse.

Sir Peter Fahy said "It is a scandal that police officers are tied up and they're not available on the street to serve the public because of huge delays at A & E. Often officers are forced to spend hours waiting with patients at hospitals waiting for consultants to make a decision or find a bed."

Sir Peter Fahy says officers are having to cope with more vulnerable people Credit: PA

Despite his officers not being trained to make mental health assessments Sir Peter told Granada Reports they are being called upon to carry out the roles of professionals and that it is now taking up a huge part of police work.

Police chief denies health & safety breaches

Sir Peter Fahy faces charges over police shooting Credit: PA Images

Greater Manchester's police chief is in court accused of breaching health and safety laws after a man was shot dead by his force.

Chief constable Sir Peter Fahy denies the charges after police marksmen shot unarmed man Anthony Grainger two years ago.

A preliminary hearing will take place at Southwark Crown court.

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Chief Constable says sorry to family of PC Ian Terry

On behalf of Greater Manchester Police, and also personally, I want to apologise for the failings which led to the death of PC Ian Terry and express great sorrow for the pain and loss suffered by his family. We accept that there were failings in the way in which the training exercise was carried out and today we accept the sentence that has been passed.

– Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Police

Widow of police officer says he was an exceptional man

Ian was an exceptional man – a brilliant father, husband, son and brother who we will always be proud of. He was the heart of the family and always had a smile on his face. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. He was also a dedicated police officer who loved his job, and his career was progressing well within the firearms division of GMP.

The last five years have been horrendous for us. We are a patient and reasonable family and all we have wanted from day one is for those involved in this tragedy to accept their portions of responsibility for what happened to Ian on 9th June 2008.

– Joanne Terry, widow of PC Ian Terry
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