Five individuals along with mental health problem asked the Metropolitan Police for 8,655 times in 2017 according to the latest report. It is an extreme instance of the stress of police forces being pushed under for the national crisis in the mental healthcare.
HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services said in a report, “ officials often required to take the step in because more satisfactory services have completed for the day”.
This pushes police with ten thousands of cases that should be dispensed with by other agencies. It approaches at a time while they confront their own challenges: developing levels of knife crime and the ever-existing threat of terrorism.
The report is based on the reply provided by police in England and Wales to people with mental health problems.
It said police receive a call in London about a concern of mental health every four minutes and an officer was sent to reply to a mental health call in every 12 minutes.
The calls are received from concerned relatives or friends, requests from social services or GPs for police to make welfare checks, suicidal people, missing people or helping the victims of crime who have mental health problems.
According to the report, “Overstretched and all-too-often overwhelmed police officers can’t always respond appropriately, and people in mental health crisis don’t always get the help they need. The police should be the last resort, not the first port of call.