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.
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
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.
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.