York & North Yorkshire

Scarborough street triage pilot scheme begins

Nurses are to join police on patrol in Scarborough to help prevent people with mental health issues being held in police cells.

The street triage scheme will see mental health staff attend police incidents to assess anyone thought to have a mental illness.

The aim is to reduce the number of people held under the Mental Health Act and allow them to get help quickly.

The scheme has already been piloted in several areas across the country.

Dave Jones, chief constable of North Yorkshire Police, said: "It is vital that people with mental health issues receive the most appropriate care when they need it.

"Police officers are regularly called to incidents involving people who are in need of care and support, but often have no option other than to take them into police custody for their own and other people's safety.

"The street triage project means that they will receive immediate and appropriate help on the spot."

'Great opportunity'

The start of the scheme comes after two facilities - known as a "places of safety" - were opened in North Yorkshire.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire added: "If successful, this pilot has the potential to prevent mental health crises and drastically reduce the number of people detained under the Mental Health Act."

Adele Coulthard, director of operations for North Yorkshire at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to work with the police to help people with mental health problems.

"Our mental health nurses will be on hand to give specialist advice and support so that people get the help they need quickly."

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