Staffordshire reveals cost of policing mental illness
19 October 2013 Last updated at 03:58 BST
Figures from the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner show a quarter of officers' time last year was spent dealing with incidents that could have been avoided.
Matthew Ellis says officers in the county responded to 15,000 cases last year involving people with mental health issues, at an escalating cost to the force.
He said: "It's not the right use of resources and it's certainly not something police officers are qualified to do."
Sian Lloyd reports.