Abuse & Race

Concern over mental health detentions by police in Wales

Mental Health - Abuse & Race originally by: BBC News
published: 15 November 2013

Calls have been made for a reduction in the number of people taken into police custody with mental health problems. 

Figures obtained by BBC Wales showed a 32% increase in such “section 136” detentions in the last year by South Wales Police.

But North Wales Police saw an 80% drop after an agreement between police and doctors. The South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is to work with other forces to see what can be learned.

A Freedom of Information request by Radio Wales revealed that detentions made by South Wales Police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 rose from 533 in 2011/12 to 706 in 2012/13, a 32% increase.

Using estimates by the UK Centre for Mental Health that the average cost of each detention is nearly £1,800, it cost South Wales Police an extra £300,000 last year.

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