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Mind responds to the Casey Review

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 Mind

Reacting to the Casey Review, Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind said:

“The nation, particularly Londoners, will have read the Casey Review yesterday with a heavy heart. The findings reflect much of what we already know, sadly what we’ve known since the MacPherson report published in 1999. Issues of racism, misogyny and homophobia within the police cause harm, for communities and for those within the service. They are toxic factors to mental health. This has to be a turning point.

“People with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of crime, more likely to feel that impact more acutely, and less likely to get the support they need. That is why the attitudes and behaviour of the police are of crucial importance towards people experiencing mental health problems, especially during times of crisis as police have a role in the sectioning process under the Mental Health Act.

“Mind welcomes the plain speaking of the Casey report which highlights deep seated institutional racism, homophobia and misogyny. The report also reveals widespread discrimination to disabled people within the Metropolitan Police, including those of us with mental health problems.

“The Casey Review highlights that the police are dealing with people in need of mental health support more than ever before, with officers often feeling they’re not sufficiently trained for this. This, combined with the issues raised in the report, including incidents where people’s mental health is questioned and their experiences minimised or even dismissed, is a significant concern.

“At Mind, we know Black people are now nearly 5 times more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act than white people. We also know that Black people are more likely to access mental health support through negative routes, via the police or the criminal justice system. Institutional racism still pervades much of our society and public institutions, including the police. And where people face misogyny and homophobia as well, these issues are compounded.

“That’s why we need a police service which all of us can trust. If the Metropolitan police is to truly police by consent, then it needs to centre the experiences of the marginalised communities it serves – in particular racialised communities, women, and LGBTQIA+ people. It will need to stop behaviours which are rooted in racism, misogyny, and homophobia and start listening to these communities to rebuild trust.  

“We also recognise that there will be many within the police who will be shocked and saddened by today’s findings. In fact we know that more police officers are experiencing high levels of stress, low mood, anxiety and other challenges in their health and wellbeing and the number is growing (ref: Police Federation Pay and Morale report, 2023).

“It is clear that Black, Asian and ethnic minority officers, female officers, LGBTQIA+ officers and disabled officers and staff have been subject to toxic workplace cultures. The workplace has a dramatic impact on people’s wellbeing and we cannot underestimate the toll that this has had on people. This needs to be changed now.

“We urge the Metropolitan Police to immediately accept and act upon Baroness Casey’s recommendations, as a matter of urgency.”

Mind is here to support anyone who needs help with their mental health. Signposting and support is available on Mind’s website for:

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