Partnerships and Collaborations

G999 Team, Devon and Cornwall Police

Why were they nominated?

This project is a collaboration between a team of special constables and a mental health charity. Every Friday night this team takes over any job that police are dealing with which has a mental health element to it. The clinician then supports the individual to give them a far greater level of care than they would normally get.

This team has been going for six months and has supported over 50 people, often suicidal or with severe mental illnesses. The team aims to stabilise the individual in the short term and also work on a long-term plan. Jobs have included: talking a suicidal man down from a bridge, supporting a man who had just tried to hang himself and helping a man with severe schizophrenia.

How do they demonstrate professionalism in everyday policing? 

Forty per cent of all police jobs have a mental health element, however, the police cannot be expected to be experts in supporting people with these problems. This team not only gives those individuals the help they need, but it also takes the pressure off the police service. Officers are so stretched that even if they wanted to help, they don't always have the time. This is where this team is different: often spending a whole shift with one person. This benefits that person and the police force by allowing officers to continue their shift.

What is the lasting impact of their story on colleagues or the public?

This project has supported 50 people who would not have received the level of care without the team. As well as short-term assistance on the night, the clinicians are also able to make recommendations for long-term care. This includes inviting the people to the mental health charity where they are able to gain long-term support for their illnesses. They also suggest which other professionals the people would benefit seeing, this includes a GP who may be able to medicate for their problems.

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