The Mail Online reported today that a 90 year old dementia sufferer was put in police custody after he rowed with his carers and they called 999. In a similar case, a 75 year old with multiple health conditions, was detained even against the advice of his doctor.
Police watchdogs”found that front line police officers frequently took emergency calls from staff at hospitals and care homes involving elderly people. Police often ended up dealing with the troubled pensioner because social services and NHS staff were not available.”
Dru Sharpling of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, told the Mail Online,”Each Public Service must fully discharge its responsibilities to ensure that police custody does not become the default option for vulnerable people in need of care.”
Home Secretary Theresa May, called in the Police Watchdog last year amid concerns over the use of police custody. The 90 year old Dementia Sufferer was arrested after being violent toward staff and damaging property. He spent the night in a police cell before officers found him a hospital bed the next day and took him there by squad car.
Questions have been raised over whether a lack of investment in care staff training and the increasing use of agency staff, has lead to increased pressure on police.