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Be sensitive to needs of the mentally ill- Ellington

Published:Friday | February 17, 2012 | 4:45 PM

The Police High Command says there is no rule preventing the police from intervening in a potentially dangerous situation involving mentally ill people.

In its weekly force orders published today, the police high command said it is not true for members of the force to say there is nothing they can do, unless a mentally ill person commits a crime.

In this week’s issue of the police force orders, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said, if a person is reported to be behaving in a way that suggests that he is mentally ill, the police should promptly respond.

Commissioner Ellington said special containment equipment like a handcuff should be used to prevent need for lethal or inappropriate force.

He also said health workers, who deal with the mentally ill should not be denied assistance by any member of the force.

Commissioner Ellington said if the mentally ill person commits a criminal offence and is placed in a lock-up, a Mental Health Officer should be contacted to do an assessment.

He also said measures must also be put in place to ensure that the mentally person is protected from other inmates while in custody.