• October 9, 2015


Following the alarming assertion in the Chief Constables report about the amount of time his officers are devoting to mental health issues we raised the issue with the DHSC (link):


Malcolm Couch DHSC CEO has responded saying he recognises there is an issue and says a ‘comprehensive strategy’ of reform is in hand (see below):

“Dear Mr Moffatt

Thank you for your letter of 7 October 2015.

Both I and the department are aware of the Chief Constable’s challenges, which he set out in his introduction to the Constabulary’s 2014/15 report:

The year saw the Constabulary continuing to spend a lot of operational time on dealing with mental health issues. Perhaps as many as one in five of all calls for service has some form of link with mental health issues. Plans were announced to improve the facilities and funding available to mental health services. This cannot come soon enough. On several occasions officers were called into mental health facilities to restrain patients. That this is wholly wrong should be obvious to everyone, but the Constabulary has an absolute duty to try to protect vulnerable people, who may harm themselves or others, and a similar duty to help protect health professionals, who can find themselves at risk.

I work closely with the Chief Constable, as do a number of my colleagues, and we are exploring how Mental Health Services can support the police more effectively. In addition, we will soon implement a comprehensive strategy for Mental Health Services, which is the start of a programme of reform for the benefit of our community.

Many of my colleagues do a superb job under challenging conditions, as I am sure you will acknowledge. I am three months into this new role and I have made it a very visible part of my approach to get out to as many parts of the department as possible: and while with colleagues from varied service lines to tell them that they are respected, supported and appreciated. I will be absolutely consistent in that approach. My staff are important.

Yours sincerely

Malcolm Couch
Chief Executive”

The Celtic League is grateful to Mr Couch for the prompt nature of his response.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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