A growing number of people face a daily struggle with their mental health. For every sufferer, and their worried friends and relatives, it is often a crisis.
Whether lonely at home or confused and disorientated in the street, those affected need expert care and attention.
In many cases that requires a visit to a hospital. But it should not be down to the police to get patients there.
Increasingly it is. In the last year, cops have had to deal with 450,000 mental health callouts, according to the Parliament Street think-tank. That’s a rise of 20 per cent in three years.
With the best will in the world, police officers are not the best trained or equipped for the job.
Unwell and frightened, these vulnerable people need specialist care.
Instead they get a fast, blue-light ride from one underfunded and understaffed service to another. The underfunded and understaffed ambulance service isn’t even involved.
It is, as the think-tank’s campaign head Danny Bowman says, a “false economy” – a sticking plaster over a broken mental health system.
The problems of one over-stretched service becomes the responsibility of another.
The police have no choice but to pick up the pieces.
Their day job is fighting crime, but officers will rightly never abandon a distressed, suffering and potentially very ill person without taking them to get help.
The measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. On this measure, after ten years of austerity, the country’s mentally ill are not getting the treatment, dignity and basic respect they deserve.
Uber Eats is not to everyone’s taste. Troubled by the chequered history of its brand namesake in the taxi cab market, it too is now coming under scrutiny.
Our undercover reporter found just how easy it is to bypass security checks at the nationwide food delivery service.
The probe shows Uber Eats staff could be fraudulently hiring out their security accounts, putting customers at risk in their homes. Rules need tightening.
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