Intended for healthcare professionals


Police cannot continue to plug gaps in mental health provision, chief inspector warns

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 24 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1999
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Police are increasingly relied on as the “first resort” for dealing with people with mental health conditions because of a lack of care in the community, the country’s chief inspector of constabulary has warned.

In his annual State of Policing report for England and Wales,1 Tom Winsor said that cuts to other public services were placing an “unacceptable strain” on the police and endangering public safety.

He said that police officers should not be relied on to support people who need medical care, and he called for more resources to be invested in mental health services. The government insisted that it was dealing with the issue by investing an additional …

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