Inspector claims police officers ‘put in harm’s way’ when dealing with people in mental crisis

PUBLISHED: 07:13 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:13 27 September 2019

The pair were arrested on Tuesday, October 1 and remanded to appear in court. Picture: Archant

The pair were arrested on Tuesday, October 1 and remanded to appear in court. Picture: Archant


Police in Norfolk could be “putting themselves in harm’s way” to help people in mental health crisis, one officer has claimed.

Chief Inspector Lou Provart.
 Picture: ArchantChief Inspector Lou Provart. Picture: Archant

Chief Inspector Lou Provart, head of custody at Norfolk and Suffolk Police, felt there was a "significant problem with the system" if police have to put themselves at risk while dealing with acutely ill people.

He made the comments following an incident in Norwich on Thursday evening in which a number of officers were assaulted while trying to help a person in mental crisis who had become violent.

On Twitter after the incident, Chief Inspector Provart said the officers involved had shown with "extraordinary professionalism in the face of significant adversity".

But he said the incident may demonstrate a larger problem with how well equipped police are to help people experiencing such crises.

"I won't comment on the specifics of the case but I'm certain that there is a significant problem with the system if officers are dealing with such acutely ill people and facing an unenviable position of being put in harm's way because of it," he said.

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