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11 December, 2017

Julia Mulligan welcomes first day of new mental health law

Julia Mulligan, elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, has today (Monday 11th December) given her support to changes to the Mental Health Act implemented for the first time today. 

Research has suggested as much as 40% of police time is spent on dealing with issues involving mental health concerns of one sort or another.

Speaking about the changes, Julia Mulligan said “I welcome the changes that have come into law today as it reflects the progress that has been made over the past few years here in North Yorkshire.  After a lot of collective effort, we now have much better services in place than before I came to office. At that time, North Yorkshire and York were the last places in the country with no ‘health based places of safety’ for those in crisis.  The impact these safe places have is incalculable and saves people from being taken into police custody at their most vulnerable time.

“However, I am very concerned about the possible closure of two of four places of safety locally, which would be a real backwards step for the people of North Yorkshire, meaning people in mental health crisis travelling further for the professional care they need and deserve.  What’s more, many are transported in a cage in the back of a police van due to ambulance shortages, which is wholly unacceptable.

“On a more positive note, one change I wholeheartedly welcome is that is now unlawful to hold under 18s in mental health crisis in police stations.  This however only makes the potential closures of these important suites even more short-sighted.  I need to see supportive talk from the health sector backed up with actions, because I for one do not want to see services reduce for very vulnerable people in crisis through no fault of their own.

“Supporting the most vulnerable has been a cornerstone of the changes I’ve have made in North Yorkshire and York, and I will do my utmost to work with the relevant health services to ensure we collectively meet our new responsibilities.”

Photo: PCC Julia Mulligan with Lynsey Walsh a Northallerton-based crisis clinician based in force control room