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This section contains information relating to Mental Health & policing.

Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Mental health & policing - MPA/NHS joint review

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has published its joint review with key partners in the NHS, containing 33 recommendations to ensure the police response to Londoners experiencing mental illness is appropriate.

The project board met regularly from Autumn 2004; a series of evidence hearings enabled the project board to take evidence from key witnesses and draw conclusions that informed the recommendations for change and improvement.


Each year up to 10,000 people with mental health support needs come into contact with the police. There are many reasons for this: people may be detained for their own safety or the safety of other people; police may accompany social workers to a person’s home for a mental health assessment; or it may become clear that somebody who has been arrested for a criminal offence is suffering from mental distress.

The Project Board

The review was delivered by a project board comprising MPA members and key partners in the NHS.

The board was supported by a reference group of key stakeholders to:

  • help consider and challenge the policies, processes, management structures and services provided by organisations involved in policing mental health;
  • identify gaps and inconsistencies in service provision and make suggestions on how to address the issues raised; and
  • contribute to the development of an action plan which will deliver tangible benefits to the users of mental health services.

The project board members



  • Prof David Taylor (Co-chair of the board)
    Chair, Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust)
  • Alison Armstrong
    Director of London-wide Programmes on behalf of 5 London strategic health authorities;
  • Stuart Bell
    Chief Executive South London and the Maudsley Mental Health Trust (Chair of the London Mental Health Chief Executives Group until July 2005)

Greater London Association of Directors of Social Services (GLADSS)

  • Vivienne Lukey, Director of Specialist Services Westminster City Council


  • Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick (MPS and ACPO lead on mental health)

Additional service support and guidance was provided by:

  • Dave Grant, Mental Disorder programme Manager, MPS
  • Bruce Frenchum, Mental Health lead, Strategic Disability Team, MPS
  • Peter Horn, London Development Centre for Mental Health
  • Linda Van Den Hende, Director, Strategic Disability Team, MPS (retired March 2005)

Scope and objectives for the review

The overall objective of the review was to ensure the policing response to Londoners suffering from mental health disorders is appropriate.

The objectives of the review were to:

  1. identify potential improvements in current services and facilities delivered by the MPS, NHS and other stakeholders to improve the safety, security and quality of care provided to people with mental disorders.
  2. identify communication channels and information gathering and exchange processes between agencies including any established protocols with a view to assessing how they could be improved.
  3. explore lessons learned from recent cases, which may not have been handled appropriately, as well as examples of innovative practice to develop recommendations for improvement.
  4. identify areas in which changes in process or policy would benefit service users and eliminate discrimination, particularly for key groups such as young black men, who may be experiencing more problems accessing mental health services, particularly where dual diagnosis is an issue.
  5. clarify the human rights issues relevant to both public protection and individual mental health service users.
  6. elucidate the myths and realities around the predictability of behaviour and claims that a proportion of violent and related undesired events associated with mental health problems could be avoided proactively.

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