A Mansfield couple have welcomed a call for people with mental health issues to be dealt with by experts rather than the police.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has spoken out on the issue - saying that people who are mentally ill and come to the attention of the police should not be confined in a police cell.
The man and wife, who have asked not to be named, told Chad that the wife, who has mental health issues, ended up in the cells at Mansfield Police Station, following an incident at Kings Mill Hospital last year.
“My wife has to have monthly blood tests as the medication she takes is so powerful that it can cause damage,” the husband said.
“We still don’t know why, but staff at the hospital said they were concerned about her behaviour and the police came and arrested her.
“She was left in a police cell for hours and then they just let her go. They didn’t call me and we later found her wandering around the town centre, unaware of where she was.
“What made me furious is that she was arrested in a hospital, which is full of medical professionals who could have genuinely helped her and actually know her case history.”
Mr Tipping has announced the planned introduction of a special ‘triage car’, where mental health nurses will accompany police to certain incidents.
“These people are ill and they are vulnerable, but the last time I looked that wasn’t a criminal offence,” Mr Tipping said.
“We are presently talking with the NHS to ensure that we provide the most appropriate facilities.”