PSNI dealt with almost 20,000 mental health incidents in 2016

The PSNI ranked third among UK forces for the number of mental health incidents
The PSNI ranked third among UK forces for the number of mental health incidents

UK police forces dealt with nearly 300,000 incidents involving people with mental health issues last year, figures show.

New data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show 296,773 incidents were recorded in 2016, with South Wales Police having the highest number of any force at 38,712.

This was followed by Nottinghamshire Police, which registered 19,973 incidents with a mental health code, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which registered 19,668.

The lowest number of reported incidents was for North Wales Police at 766.

The data were obtained by the think tank Parliament Street and shared exclusively with the Press Association.

Danny Bowman, mental health spokesman for Parliament Street, said: “These findings reveal the shocking numbers of mental health issues currently being dealt with by police forces across the country.

“It’s time to recognise that Britain needs a better funded strategic plan to ensure people who are suffering with mental health problems are properly cared for by specialist health services.”