in response to concerns raised….

DCC Chris Rowley said, “Protecting vulnerable people and keeping people safe is our top priority as a force and I can reassure Cllr Walker that we share her concerns and would never make a decision about our resources that would put people in danger.”

“It is important however, that vulnerable people are given the right support when they need it and all too often police officers are left, as the service of last resort, looking after people with mental health or social care needs.

“The skills and support that vulnerable people who are in crisis need are often not those of a police officer and we feel that it is imperative that partners from policing, social care, mental health and other agencies each have a role to play.

“We have asked our partners to be part of some work to identify where the gaps are in their own services so that we can work together to ensure the right service is provided to people at the right time – often evenings or at weekends.  We are in the process of having these conversations with partners and hope that the outcome will be that vulnerable people receive a more appropriate service and the support they need.

“It’s important to say that we are not presenting a fait accompli, but that we are asking partner agencies to review their services to ensure that vulnerable people who need mental health and social care services are not left in the hands of the police during evenings and weekends.  The support services they require need to be available 24/7 and we will work with partners to support them whilst they make the relevant adjustments to meet the needs of their service users.

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