Thousands of people in a mental health crisis will be “left without support” under worrying and inappropriate police plans to “walk away” from emergency incidents, health chiefs have said.
In a letter seen by the Guardian, the Metropolitan police comissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said that from September he would order the force’s police officers not to attend thousands of 999 calls about mental health incidents.
The move by Scotland Yard, which employs nearly a quarter of all officers in England and Wales, follows the rollout of a similar policy in Humberside. The change would help free up resources to focus on solving crime, Rowley said.
But health chiefs have raised the alarm about the plans, suggesting that vulnerable people would be “left in limbo” and put at risk of harm. They also pointed out that only the police could publicly section people in a mental health crisis.
Rowley has given