I was shocked when I found what was happening in 2013, after being elected as PCC and it was a major worry too for police officers who raised with me. In 2012 nearly 200 individuals suffering mental ill health problems found themselves in that situation.
I’m really quite proud that the work I kicked off to tackle this tragic situation in Staffordshire gained national momentum. It’s fascinating to see the local work we did grow into a national priority. The situation has improved hugely across the country but in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the latest figures show a huge 80% reduction on what I found in 2013.
Big improvement, but there’s much more to do. The local approach we’ve developed will continue and I’ll keep banging on nationally and locally to get different public services more joined up and working towards common objectives. I’m certain that approach is the way to tackle many of the most difficult social issues in modern society.
80% reduction is promising but I’d like to end the whole practice once and for all.