Calls for health professionals to aid police with mental health incidents

Guernsey Police officers say they're spending more time dealing with mental health incidents and less time on patrol.

The force is calling for more support from health professionals so the force can be free for more day to day policing.

Guernsey's Chief of Police, Ruari Hardy, says: "Those are the sorts of things that we need to have quicker intervention by health services, which will then free up police officers to get on with what they're supposed to do, which is law enforcement."

Police Constable Alastair Bulpitt says the mental health incidents can sometimes last "hours on end."

He explained: "The police can help them but it's longer term support that we want them to get just as much as they need to get it for themselves".

This is something mental health charities are already growing increasingly concerned about.

Chief Executive of Mind Guernsey, Jo Cottell, said: "What we don't want to do is criminalise people for their poor mental health and that's always a danger if a policeman or a policewoman turns up at someone's door.

"There needs to be a lot of communication because what you can't do is take away what's already happening and then leave a whole host of really vulnerable people without the support that they need."

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