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An open letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs

In response to Police Scotland’s Chief Constable advising that too much of the force’s time is spent on mental health callouts.

Change Mental Health CEO, Nick Ward, has written an open letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, Angela Constance, in response to remarks made by Police Scotland’s Chief Constable on national radio station LBC.

Jo Farrell, Police Scotland‘s Chief Constable, stated that too much of the force’s time is spent on mental health callouts, expressing surprise at the impact this is having on the police service. It is estimated that a mental health call comes in every 3 to 4 minutes.

This has come as a concerning development, particularly on the back of Metropolitan Police’s recent decision to stop attending most emergency mental health incidents.

Chief Constable Farrell also mentioned that it’s not Police Scotland’s role to “step in and provide support to every individual who has vulnerabilities”. A recommendation was made that Police Scotland need to ‘reset the parameters’ of what they will respond to in relation to mental health, with the open letter asking for clarification on what this looks like.

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