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Norfolk MP to investigate claims after meeting boxer Frank Bruno

PUBLISHED: 18:44 17 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:44 17 March 2013

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk. Photo: Antony Kelly.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk. Photo: Antony Kelly.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

A Norfolk MP has pledged to look into claims of police heavy-handedness after meeting Frank Bruno to discuss mental health issues.

Norman Lamb said that the way Mr Bruno said he was treated when he was sectioned last year was “completely unacceptable”, and called for more openness and honesty in discussions around mental illness.

He also praised the boxer for having the bravery to talk about his experiences of struggling with bipolar disorder.

Mr Lamb said he had been “shocked” at Mr Bruno’s description of how he was collected by police officers when he was sectioned in April last year, when three police cars and seven officers turned up outside his house.

“These things must be done in a more sensitive way,” he said. “Do you need three marked police cars to turn up in that way when you are collecting someone? He said his neighbours must have thought there had been a murder.”

He also raised concerns at footage that emerged of the officers collecting Mr Bruno.

“It begs the question: why was someone filming it? How did that happen?” said Mr Lamb, a government minister for care services.

He also said he would be looking into Mr Bruno’s reports that staff in the facility where he was being treated had mocked the former world champion.

Mr Lamb discussed mental health issues with the boxer after inviting him to his Westminster office, and said he had been left impressed by his determination to share what he had been through in the 10 years since he was first sectioned.

“The big issue with mental health is there is a stigma and people don’t feel able to talk about it,” said Mr Lamb.

“It’s good when sporting icons, or people successful in business or politics, come out and talk about their experiences because it breaks down barriers. He is doing a great job in talking about it.”

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