Specialist police officers working in North East hospitals to support young people struggling with mental health

PC Darren English starts his daily patrol at Ferndene Hospital in Prudhoe. Credit: Northumbria Police

Specialist officers are being deployed in hospitals across the North East to support young people struggling with their mental health.

They are visiting centres to assess and treat young people who have complex health, behavioural and emotional needs.

PC Darren English starts his daily patrol at Ferndene Hospital in Prudhoe.

He is there to be the dedicated link between hospitals and police, with the aim of breaking down barriers between the police and those living with complex mental health issues.

PC English says he aims to be the supporting conduit between police and young people to reassure and protect them.

One of the issues he faces when visiting young people with mental health issues is that on some occasions, a patient can become violent. Police say the presence of an officer also acts as a preventative measure, to deter people from behaving aggressively towards employees.