Mental Health Policy - 198/22

Date Responded 21 February 2022

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

I am requesting a copy of your force/constabulary policies regarding the treatment of those with mental health problems in custody.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Force Coordination and Operations Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held, in part by Northumbria Police.


I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.


We do not hold a separate force policy, we follow the Code C of the Codes of Practise and Police and Criminal evidence act 1984 is the legislation which outlines how a person should be treat and questioned whilst in Police detention.  The College of Policing is the Professional body of the Police service and provides guidance and advice to officers known as Authorised Professional Practise (APP).  They both deal with the treatment of those with mental health problems in custody.


However, as this information is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.


I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.


Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means


Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.


The information is freely available for public view via the links provided below.


Outside of the Act we can advise that in addition to the legislation and guidance, Northumbria Police have entered into a partnership agreement with NHS England.


Specially trained liaison and diversion nurses who deal with people with mental health conditions are available in each of our force custody suites between 0700 hrs and 1900 hrs, 7 days a week, each day of the year.  These nurses are proactive and will see anyone suspected or confirmed to be suffering with a mental health condition in order to establish the most appropriate way to assist them and if required sign post them to pathway services.


They visit every young person under the age of 18 years in Custody or arrange to see them in the community soon after their arrest.


The liaison and diversion team will make contact with the duty Crisis team in order to arrange assessments if they are deemed necessary for a detained person in Custody.

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