Police forced to deal with mental health incidents
With the region’s mental health trust branded as inadequate, police and ambulance services are being left to pick up the pieces, according to bosses.
In 2015/16, Norfolk Constabulary received 4,324 reports related to mental health – an increase of 603 when compared to the previous year. Incidents related to mental health currently make up an estimated 15 per cent of all calls received.
Officers can be called to suicide attempts and self-harming incidents – many of which can require multiple officers for several hours.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said: “Incidents in which mental health is a factor are a significant part of our day-to-day work.
“Norfolk Constabulary regularly assesses and reviews the impact that mental health demand has on our already stretched police resources.
“We are continually working to gain a better understanding of the demand we face in this area.
“Our officers strive every day to protect the vulnerable, often in difficult and complex situations on the frontline, working with our health partners to ensure people receive the treatment and support they need.”
Pc Trevor McLoughlin, from Diss Police Station, said: “At the moment we have this all encompassing umbrella that we just deal with everything and we can’t do that. We have a role to fulfil in society and that says keep peace and uphold the law.”