US visit paves way for mental health pilot
A police officer is to embark on a fact-finding tour of the United States to finesse plans for a pilot scheme to deal with mental health problems in the Westcountry.
Inspector Mark Bolt has been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship.
Insp Bolt, who has responsibility for mental health and criminal justice in the Duchy, will travel to Chicago and Baltimore for six weeks, where he will spend time with police departments, prosecution agencies, courts, mental health workers, prison staff and services users.
He will observe a street triage project which is due to be piloted in Devon and Cornwall in the next few months.
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Under the scheme, clinical mental health staff accompany police when responding to emergencies connected to mental health.
He said: "This trip will be an amazing and invaluable experience which will help us understand how best to deal with people in the criminal justice system who have mental health issues."