It really is time Britain to stand up. Over the last few months I have talked and walked for the Scottish cause, but this Tweet by a Policeman is PATHETIC. Anyone who voted Tory deserves to be in Police custody also from here on in. As the policeman said #Unacceptable This was from Devon and Cornwall Police, at least we can say the police are decent in this country, they don’t kill people, they save them
A senior police officer has told how a teenager with mental health issues was held in police custody for almost two days because no NHS beds were available. Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton, from Devon and Cornwall Police, took to Twitter to vent his frustration after he was left with no choice but to keep the girl in custody in a police station. He said the 16-year-old was detained on Thursday night and sectioned on Friday lunchtime. She should have been taken to hospital, but police were told there were no places for her anywhere in the UK. Labour said the case was “an appalling reflection of the crisis in mental health services under the current Government”.
NHS England confirmed on Saturday evening that a place had been found for the girl. ACC Netherton told Sky News : “I was very concerned because we shouldn’t be put in a position where we have a 16-year-old schoolgirl kept in custody now for three days because there is no place where we can house her safely. “A police station and a custody block on a Friday and Saturday night is simply not a place where a young child should be placed. “We wouldn’t put a criminal in custody for that long and we certainly don’t want to put someone who is suffering from mental health issues in a custody block for that length of time.” ACC Netherton said an area of the station’s cells had been closed to keep the girl in a “quiet and calm” environment and her mother had been allowed to visit to reassure her.
He said the case was symptomatic of an ongoing problem, with 750 people with mental health issues in Devon & Cornwall alone detained in police stations in the last year. He said: “What concerns us in this case and is certainly a problem across the country… is the fact that it involves children and I do not think there is enough provision for children who suffer mental health issues and need to be detained in an emergency situation.” The officer originally highlighted the case on Twitter, posting: “We have a 16yr old girl suffering from mental health issues held in police custody. There are no beds available in the uk! #unacceptable”.
But he told Sky News he did not fear for his job, adding: “I don’t think my position is at risk. We’re just stating the facts – I think that is my job. “I have a duty of care over all prisoners who come into the custody blocks in Devon and Cornwall and therefore I think I need to flag it up and do something about it when we are frustrated.”
He later tweeted: “Just heard that a place of care has been found for our 16yr old. Good result.” A spokesman for NHS England acknowledged there was more work to be done but said mental health crisis services had been expanding so the number of people ending up in police stations was down by a quarter. Labour’s shadow health minister Luciana Berger said: “This sad situation is becoming worryingly common. People shouldn’t face the indignity of being kept in police cells when they are at their most vulnerable. “The Government promised parity for mental health services, yet we’re going backwards. In recent years, they have suffered more than other NHS services and are falling deeper and deeper into crisis.”
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