by: London Evening Standard
published: 10 May 2013
Scotland Yard was criticised today for a series of failings in dealing with vulnerable people with mental illness. An independent report found “failures in systems, misjudgments or errors by individuals” and “discrimination” by officers that led to the deaths of people with mental health problems.
The study by Lord Adebowale, chief executive of the charity Turning Point, identified 50 people with a mental health issue who had died after contact with the Met in the five years up to 2012.
The majority of deaths were suicides but five involved people who had been physically restrained by police officers.
The independent commission was launched last year at the request of the Met Commissioner after a spate of deaths in custody involving people with a mental health illness, in particular the case of musician Sean Rigg.
The commission, whose members include senior health professionals, a chief constable and a senior lawyer, made 28 recommendations for improving the way police deal with mental health issues.