Mental health nurses are to be posted in police stations and courts in a bid to reduce reoffending by mentally ill criminals, the government has announced.
The £25 million pilot will be tested in Merseyside, London, Avon and Wiltshire, Leicester, Sussex, Dorset, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, Coventry, south Essex and Wakefield.
Care and support minister Norman Lamb said the scheme will mean that people with mental health problems are treated "as early as possible" to help "divert" them away from offending again.
If successful, the measure will be rolled out across the rest of the country by 2017.
It has been estimated that police officers spend 15% to 25% of their time dealing with mental health problems - the equivalent of around 26,000 officers.
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