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New Recommendations To Stop Young People Being Held In Cells

PCC Martyn Underhill

9:11am 19th December 2014

Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner is backing new Government recommendations to try and stop young people and those suffering from mental health problems being held in police cells.

The announcement follows a campaign by PCCs across the country to make sure vulnerable detainees get the right care in the right place rather than a police station.

But Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said he'll still continue to pressure the government over the detention of adults suffering a mental health crisis.

He told Wessex FM: ""PCC's welcome today's announcement by Home Secretary, Theresa May. 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 and 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, although whilst detention is still allowed, we do welcome the reduction in detention time from 72 hours to 24 hours."

The report of the Government's review of the operation of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 recommends:

- Police stations must never be used for a child or young person aged under 18
- Making better use of alternative places of safety would be advantageous
-  A maximum period of detention under these sections is too long at 72 hours, and the review therefore proposes reducing this to 24 hours

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