Met introduce new programme to reduce time officers spend ‘over-policing’ mental health

The decision to stop police from attending most mental health calls will free officers up to “meet more expectations than we are currently meeting”, the Met Police Commissioner has said.

From October 31, a “clear threshold” for a police response will be introduced to reduce the amount of time officers spend “over-policing” mental health.

Under the new programme – known as Right Care, Right Person – police will still attend any incident where there is a risk to life or a risk of serious harm.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sir Mark Rowley said officers should not be dealing with situations they are not “the right people for”.

He told the paper: “It’s perverse for us to be doing things we aren’t the right people for at the same time there is police work we are not doing.

“They shouldn’t be filling gaps for other services when they could be doing work in the communities and fighting crime.

“Our ability to meet more expectations than we are currently meeting, is partly dependent on how we use our people and having them sidetracked into things that are not core policing work means the public don’t get what they want.

“Communities raise very practical stuff around anti-social behaviour, knife crime and things they want us to do better.”

Sir Mark also urged the public to feel confident in reporting any anti-social incident, no matter how small.

He said: “Report it all. We are not going to solve every crime but the pattern of crime matters.

“I think people understand that if I go out to my shed and discover that my lawnmower has gone in the last two or three weeks, that is pretty hard for the police to have much of a hope of solving, but if the police know about it, it goes into patterns of crime.

“Likewise if you report a particular crime we will solve the ones that can be solved quickly. We can give you advice on how to prevent recurrence, we can help you in other ways so all of that matters.

“People still want local police officers to deal with their problems and they want a sense that the police care and are reliable.”

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