Britain’s largest police force responds to mental health emergencies every 11 minutes.
The Met received 91,844 such calls about people in distress last year, we can reveal.
And they participated in 48,040 incidents involving fears people posed a danger to themselves or others.
A police union leader warned that police were cleaning up for the NHS.
And a chief constable said it had become a huge drain on police resources.
Figures obtained by The Sun on Sunday show the number has nearly doubled in five years.
A police watchdog previously blamed a “broken mental health system.” Covid put pressure on NHS psychiatric services and front-line police officers were closing the gap.
And Ken Marsh, chairman of the Police Federation for Common Officers, said last night: “Police mental health operations are becoming a very dangerous scenario.
“More and more of my colleagues are being used in this field instead of medical professionals. It is dangerous for the patient and my colleagues as we do not have the expertise required but we are expected to handle it as if we do.”
Hampshire Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, Head of Local Police for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, added: “Police receive millions of emergency calls each year and the types of crimes and incidents are becoming increasingly complex.
“This can include non-criminal incidents such as significant mental health crises and vulnerabilities, as well as missing persons, which has a significant impact on our available resources.”
She added: “A snapshot exercise in 2019 showed us that five percent of all police incidents are mental health-related, meaning that police across the country attend to an average of 54 mental health-related incidents every hour.”
The London force stressed: “The Met remains committed to improving the experience of people with mental illness when they come into contact with the police.”
According to government plans, the mentally ill should no longer be held in police cells.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6043327/met-police-mental-health-calls/ Met Police respond to mental health emergencies every 11 minutes