THE number of mental health patients held in custody as a place of safety in Hampshire has plummeted, according to police.
The force has seen an 80 per cent drop in ill people held in police cells after suffering from a crisis in the last two years.
In July 2012, the number of people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and subsequently held in custody cells in Hampshire peaked at 61, with the average number regularly being over 40 a month. Today, that figure is at a consistently lower level, with eight in custody last month – the lowest number since they started recording this type of data.
It represents an 87 per cent drop from the highest figure, or an 80 per cent from the average number of two years.
The force is putting the drop down to is believed to down to refresher training for all frontline staff and the adoption of new working practices with mental health trusts, hospitals and the ambulance service.