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Announces independent Commission into Mental Health and Policing

September 24, 2012, 6:40 am

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has commissioned an independent review into how it responds to people with mental health conditions.

The review will carry out an examination of cases from over the last five years where someone with a mental health condition has either died or been seriously injured following contact with police.

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of the social enterprise Turning Point, will lead the Commission together with a number of independent experts and the ACPO lead for mental health.

It will examine all aspects of police interaction including call handling and custody procedures as well as how we work with partner agencies. The review will provide the opportunity for police policies and service level agreements with partners to be examined.

The Commissioner has written to a number of families of people who have died or been seriously injured to tell them about this review and to let them know someone from the Commission will be in contact should they wish to speak about their experiences.

It is expected that the Commission’s recommendations will be presented to the MPS in February 2013. Its report will be made public.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said:

“A number of cases have highlighted concerns with how police respond to people with mental health conditions.

“I want to know that we are doing everything we can to get this right. That is why I’ve commissioned this independent review.

“This is not a matter for the police alone and the roles of partner agencies will be explored by the Commission.

“I am writing to a number of families about this independent review. I am very grateful to those families who choose to take part.”

Lord Victor Adebowale said:

“I welcome the Commissioner’s commitment to improve practice in this area.

“What is important is to get to the truth of the matter and remove any excuses for not taking the chance to improve practice.

“I enter this review, careful to have an open mind, with clarity of focus and to be driven by the facts.

“I am determined that the work of the review will lead to clear and actionable recommendations.”

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