Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to discuss police treatment mental health issues in Wood Green today

Haringey Independent: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will visit Wood Green today to discuss police treatment of people with mental health issues.

Sir Hogan-Howe will visit Wood Green Custody Custody Centre with Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of the Independent Commission on Mental Health and Policing, which investigated the deaths of people with mental health issues following police contact.

The visit comes on the first anniversary of the report, Mental Health and Policing, that found the Met needed to improve its handling of mental health cases in order to prevent future deaths and injuries in custody.

Five cases of deaths in police custody and 45 cases of deaths either before or after police contact were reviewed.

NHS commissioned mental health teams have since been placed in custody suites across North East London as part of a pilot scheme.

The Met police estimate that up to 40 percent of their work involves people with mental health issues. Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "We are changing the way we think and deal with people who are vulnerable.”

He added: "Our officers are not experts but we have helped them recognise mental health issues and how to get the right help.”

Lord Adebowale, who is the chief executive of Turning Point, a mental health related social enterprise, said: "It's good to see that mental health has been recognised by the police as core business. It's also a core concern of the public.

"I would like to thank the families that have supported the report and also thank the work of the commissioners of the independent commission.

"This is not an end to the process - it's the beginning of building a police force that can respond to the needs of all people."

Dr Alison Frater, head of public health and health in the justice system at NHS England in London, said: "A high percentage of people who come into contact with the police and justice system have complex health and social care needs, which are not always identified by police officers. This has meant that people often don't get the support and treatment they need in a timely manner.”

She added that the NHS was omitted to working with the police to reduce reoffending and improve “the efficiency and effectiveness” of the criminal justice system.

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