Children detained by Dorset Police under the Mental Health Act

Children detained by Dorset Police under the Mental Health Act

Published by Maria Greenwood at 10:30am 29th October 2019.

More than 600 people were detained under the Mental Health Act by Dorset Police last year - including dozens of children.

The Act gives police the power to take people to a place of safety for up to 72 hours - if they're a risk to themselves or others.

Home Office figures show Dorset Police detained 639 people under the Mental Health Act in the 12 months to March, 27 of whom were aged under 18.

In Dorset, the majority of those whose gender was recorded were women - 52%.

Police Car

The figures also show that Dorset Police used police vehicles to transport mental health detainees 388 times in 2018-19.

The most common recorded reason for doing so was because the person's behaviour was thought to pose a risk.

An ambulance was not called first on 103 occasions.

police knocking at door

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: 

"We know the police are dealing with a high number of mental health incidents, so we are working with them and our health and social care partners to relieve the burden on officers and ensure people in a mental health crisis receive the support they need.

"We're investing £2.3 billion a year by 2023-24 to transform mental health care, and last week we set out plans to reform the Mental Health Act - ensuring people in a mental health crisis are treated with dignity and respect, and given greater control over their care."