“Unacceptable” to use police cells for holding vulnerable people, says peer

11:24 15 October 2012

Lord Adebowale

Lord Adebowale

Archant

The man in charge of an investigation into how the Metropolitan Police deals with mental health incidents has said using cells as holding facilities is “unacceptable”.

Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of the social enterprise Turning Point, is leading the independent commission into mental health and policing at the Met.

The review is carrying out an examination of cases from over the last five years where someone with a mental health condition has either died or been seriously injured following contact with police.

It was announced following an inquest ruling this summer that the police had used “unsuitable force” to restrain Sean Riggs, a mentally ill musician from south London who later died in a police cell.

Lord Adebowale told The Independent newspaper: “The cells being used as places of safety is unacceptable. The police are perceived to be in a difficult position but frankly that’s not my concern.

“My job is to ensure that the police response is improved.”

He continued: “I haven’t approached this with deep sympathy for the police, of any other emergency service for that matter. I have approached this as a taxpayer who expects when they dial 999 to get an excellent response.”

Also on the panel are a number of independent experts and the Association of Chief Police Offcers (ACPO) lead for mental health.

The commission is expected to present its findings to the Met in February 2013. Its report will be made public.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Do you recognise these young men? [Photograph from British Transport Police]

Police are looking for two young men after a teenager was punched so hard in a fight at Watford Hight Street Station that his jaw fractured in two places.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
'Gift Horse' by Hans Haacke has become the tenth sculpture to be installed on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth, in London [Photograph by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire]

The giant blue cockerel ‘Hahn/Cock’ that loomed over Trafalgar Square has been replaced with a new statue - a skeletal horse that shows the stock exchange prices.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
The fish is a grey koi carp like these ones - and is half a metre long! [Photograph by Ingrid Taylor]

A man reported his pet fish stolen today - but officers thought the situation was a bit, well, fishy.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Do you recognise this man?

A six-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a drunken pervert with a large belly after going to the toilet in a King’s Cross community centre.

Thursday, March 5, 2015
Reuben the Springer Spaniel waits outside in his onesie before day one of Crufts 2015 [Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Wire]

As the annual pedigree dog show gets underway, we’re looking at what the pooches are wearing - and it seems onesies aren’t just for humans now.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

After all, this animal loves self portraits as much as we do.

Read more

Frank Lampard, Joey Barton and Adam Lallana are among those trying to inspire more people to read.

Read more

There were 125 passengers and five crew on board the Delta airlines flight from Atlanta.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

(Not guaranteed)

Mothers Day is fast approaching, so we’ve rounded up some unusual and beautiful gifts for you to dazzle the most important woman in your life come March 15th.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

There were 125 passengers and five crew on board the Delta airlines flight from Atlanta.

A well-known circus will stop using elephants in its shows.

Fruit and veg is ‘beautiful on the inside’, according to this group of North Wales students.

Quirky London