Mentally ill 'let down' by police

Severely mentally ill people are "significantly more likely" to report unfair or disrespectful behaviour from police, new research has shown. However, many feared there would be repercussions, like sectioning, if they reported bad behaviour.

Police: Mentally ill get same 'high quality service'

Mentally ill people receive the same "high quality service" as any other victim of crime, a senior police officer has said.

Commander Christine Jones who is the lead on mental health for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) was defending the force after research found mentally ill people were more likely to complain about their treatment by police than anyone else.

Anyone reporting a crime against them expects to be listened to, taken seriously and treated with respect.

They also expect appropriate action to be taken to investigate their case and to be signposted to further support if they need it.

We want to ensure that people with mental ill health get that same, high quality service from the police if they have been a victim of crime.

– Commander Christine Jones, Association of Chief Police Officers

Police treatment of mentally ill a 'national scandal'

The police have come under fire for their treatment of the severely mentally ill, after a survey exposed the number of unwell people who feel let down by police.

Victim Support, one of the charities behind the research, said neglect of the mentally ill by the criminal justice system was "unacceptable" and "nothing short of a national scandal".

It is nothing short of a national scandal that some of the most vulnerable people in our society become victims of crime so often and yet when they seek help they are met with disbelief or even blame.

It is unacceptable that the criminal justice system fails to meet the needs of people with mental health problems when this report shows all too clearly the terrible impact of crime on them.

– Victim Support chief executive Javed Khan

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Mentally ill 'three times' more likely to be crime victims

People with severe mental illness are three times move likely to be a victim of any crime, according to a report on the mentally ill, police and illegal activity.

  • They were five times more likely to experience assault than a person who was sane.
  • Women with severe mental illness were 10 times more likely to experience assault.
  • Over two-thirds, 62%, of women questioned reported being victims of sexual violence as an adult.
  • Nearly 45% of people with severe mental illness reported being the victim of crime in the last year.

Mentally ill 'more likely' to report bad police behaviour

People suffering from severe mental illness are "significantly more likely" to report unfair or disrespectful behaviour from the police, new research has shown.

A report by a number of leading mental health charities found many people suffering from severe conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and clinical depression were also reluctant to report dismissive behaviour.

Mentally ill
Mentally ill patients are more likely to report poor behaviour from police, research has shown. Credit: PA

They feared their illness would be used to discredit their complaint and were scared of being sectioned and sent to a psychiatric facility.

Mind's chief executive Paul Farmer said: "It is unacceptable that the police, healthcare staff and others who are supposed to support victims of crime may be dismissive of or not believe a person's experience, or may even blame them for the crime."

Research was collected using a survey and compiled by Charity Victim Support, the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, Mind, Kingston University and St George's, University of London, and University College London.

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