Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Mental health patients no longer kept in police cells

The practice of putting people experiencing mental health crises in police cells has been completely halted in Devon and Cornwall. Photo: ITV News

The practice of putting people experiencing mental health crises in police cells has been completely halted in Devon and Cornwall.

In 2014, a lack of specialist beds meant more than 700 vulnerable patients were locked up alongside criminals.

Figures obtained by ITV News have revealed this has now fallen to zero, thanks to a new law introduced last year.

Senior officers say they're proud of the new statistics, but acknowledge that there's still a lack of mental health provision across the region.

Over the last four years, more than 1,000 Mental Health Act detentions in Devon and Cornwall have resulted in police custody. Credit: ITV News

Over the last four years, more than 1,000 Mental Health Act detentions in Devon and Cornwall have resulted in police custody. This adds up to almost 10,000 hours in a police cell for people who are often vulnerable and at risk of harming themselves.

However year-on-year, the figures show a move away from this controversial and damaging approach. And we can reveal that so far this year not a single person has been held in a cell under the Mental Health Act.

Teresa Overall was taken in police custody 10 years ago. You can hear her story below...

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.