Dear Police Scotland,
I would like to ask Police Scotland a few questions in relation to mental health services, as I know that the police are the frontline service who deal with those with a mental disorder.*
Over the past 2 years, with the figures divided by year:-
1) How many incidents have been logged of police involvement in restraints of people who are under compulsory mental health treatment, either at the time of the restraint, or subsequent to police restraint:-
a) in police stations?
b) in mental health institutions?
c) other places?
Please could you give further breakdown of the information requested in question 1 and its subquestions thus:-
2) How many of these incidents involved the use of tasers?
3) How many of these incidents resulted in fatalities?
I'd be happy to have the figures running from 1st April of each year.
I look forward to receiving your reply.
* this is a highly rated blog by a police officer on just this subject:-
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED
Police Service of Scotland received your request for information on 21 March 2014 and a response will be provided by 18 April 2014.
Please quote Ref No IM-FOI-2014-0652 in any further correspondence.
Freedom of Information
Dear Ms Sinclair,
Please find the response to your request attached.
Information Management Unit - Edinburgh
0131 311 3016 (Direct Dial)
Dear Police Scotland,
Thank you for your response.
I appreciate that Police Scotland can only efficiently provide information if it collates relevant data, so it cannot provide the required information in this case without excessive cost.
However, it is clear that there should be a specific incident marker attached to incidents where there is police involvement in detaining or restraining individuals who are receiving compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act, and there should also be specific incident markers for police involvement in all crimes and incidents involving those who are Learning Disabled or autistic, so I am going to write to the Information Commissioner and ask why this is not part of the publication scheme for Police Scotland.
This FOI to Police Scotland is one of a number of FOIs that I have sent to the Scottish Government and to the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, neither of whom have been able to give any statistics for adverse events, such as assaults, within the mental health system. Indeed, the MWC recently published a report which, for the first time, detailed the numbers of deaths that they record within the mental health system, and they have privately acknowledged that this report was prompted by my FOI:-
- Death in detention monitoring (.pdf, 2KB)
13 March 2014
So, there is clearly a dereliction of the duty of the Scottish Government Mental Health unit and the Information Commissioner to ensure that such data is collated, analysed and published, as I understand that there is information on deaths in detention within the criminal justice system.