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Gambling: Mental Illness

Question for Home Office

UIN HL10996, tabled on 24 October 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 23 October (HL10469), why the Home Office does not hold information on the percentage of police call-outs attributable to mental health problems connected with gambling-related harm; whether this information is collected by anyone else; and if not, what consideration they have given to collecting this information in the future.

Answered on

5 November 2018

The Home Office annually reviews the data it collects from police forces under the Annual Data Requirement. We need to ensure we have the right data to inform national policies and better understand the picture from the frontline, but we need to balance this against overburdening the police with added bureaucracy.

The police do have a role in responding to people in mental health crisis and that remains the case irrespective of whether the crisis is related to gambling, substance abuse or something entirely different. There will be difficulties for the police in identifying mental health problem connected to gambling-related harm, which means it will be problematic to collect data on the number of call outs from the police forces in a consistent and reliable way.

However, we continue to work with the police and health colleagues to ensure that those in mental health crisis receive the support that they require.

Answered by

Home Office