apccsThe Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has reacted positively to a recent government proposals stating that custody suites should not be used as ‘places of safety’ for mentally-ill young people.

The recommendations, which were announced by the Home Secretary Theresa May, came following a joint review of sections 135 and 136 on the Mental Health Act by the Home Office and the Department of Health. According to the APCC, they arrive on the heels of a ‘lengthy and robust’ campaign by police and crime commissioners.

Speaking of the review, Dorset PCC and Chair of the APCC’s Mental Health Working Group, Martyn Underhill said: “The view of Police and Crime Commissioners is that those who are suffering a mental health crisis – young or old – should not be detained in police cells.

“Police and Crime Commissioners have led a lengthy and robust campaign to ensure that detainees in mental health crisis receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place. I am delighted that in relation to young people our voice has been heard by the government, and acted upon.

“We will however, continue to lobby the government on the detention of adults suffering a mental health crisis through the PCC Mental Health Working Group.”

The report also made recommendations relating to the better use of ‘alternative places of safety’, as well the maximum period of detention under the act, which it said should be reduced from 72 hours to 24.