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Force mental health support scheme frees up ‘thousands of officer hours’

Officers are diverted to proactive policing priorities through healthcare crisis partnership

Humberside Police has won a major national award for its performance by re-allocating 1,000 officer hours a month for proactive policing that would have been spent dealing with people with mental health issues.

The force’s Right Care, Right Person initiative provides financial support to healthcare partners and removes barriers so that officers who are first on the scene to an incident involving someone having a mental health crisis get expert assistance quickly and are not left to deal with it on their own.

Chief Constable Lee Freeman said: “Members of our community who are experiencing mental health crisis need the same level of clinical support afforded to those who suffer physical injuries.  

“What ‘Right Care, Right Person’ has done is put the individual right at the heart of our decision making and this means that a police officer is often not the right person to be providing this care. By working with partners and supporting them financially to remove barriers, we are now supporting those individuals in a much more appropriate way.

“What this has meant is that more than 1,000 officer hours per month have been reallocated to enable us to focus on what our communities want us to be doing, that being proactive policing. Humberside Police arrest more suspects per police officer than any other force.

“Crucially, this is also backed up by the force having the highest detection rate for overall crime in the country as well. Our communities asked us to get on the front foot with reducing crime and ASB and to also bring offenders to justice and my officers and staff are doing this as well as any force in England and Wales."

Since 2017 Humberside has grown its officer numbers by an additional 650. It is also one of the leading forces for call handling performance and recorded the best results in relation to force morale in the country in the recent annual Police Federation Pay and Morale Survey.

CC Freeman added; “When I took over it was clear that the culture of the force needed to change. From day one, I said that the force should be seen as one of the best forces in the country as our communities had a right to expect that and our staff and officers were that good. They have repaid that trust many times over.

“This award is a recognition of five years of continued effort from across the entire team at Humberside Police. We should all feel proud for what we have achieved to date, it has been a complete cultural change at every level."

The force was announced as gold winner for the UK Police Service of the Year 2022 Award at the Public Sector Transformation Public Sector Awards in London.

The award is given to a Police Force that shows outstanding transformation. Humberside Police was highlighted for its innovative approach in supporting those in mental health crisis, along with its wider transformation and improvements in the last five years.  

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