To ask the Secretary of State for Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the effect of closing custody suites on people with mental health problems.
12 December 2017
It is an operational decision for chief officers and Police and Crime Commissioners to determine how each force uses its available resources, including their estates. However, the Government has made clear that a police station is not a suitable environment in which to detain a person who has committed no offence but who is experiencing mental health problems.
The use of police stations as places of safety in such circumstances has fallen significantly over recent years from 8667 in 2011/12 to a low of just over 1,000 occasions in 2016/17. Legislative changes, which came into effect on 11 December and which include a total ban on the use of police stations as places of safety for children and restrictions on their use in the case of adults, are expected to bring about further reductions.