23rd September 2015

Response to young people with mental health issues and use of police holding cells

Commenting on the reduction in the number of young people aged under 18 years who were detained in police stations because of concerns over their mental health to 145 cases in 2014/15 Anne Longfield Children’s Commissioner for England said:

“I welcome the news that the number of children and young people held at police stations because of concerns over their mental health went down to 145 cases in 2014/15.  However, the continued dependence on police cells for purpose is evidence of the need for urgent investment in children’s mental health service provision.

“Although police cells are deemed safe places – age-appropriate facilities are needed to carry out mental health assessments and address the complex needs of many young people living with mental health issues.

“The neglect of mental health services for children and young people in England is a growing concern and I urge government and health partners to continue to work to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable children and young people and ensure they get the help and support they deserve.”