SMH: ‘Serious misconduct’: Police officer allegedly assaulted Aboriginal teen in hospital

The NSW police have had four fatal interactions with people in as many months, with the tragic death of Krista Kach death being the most recent. Almost half of all deaths or serious injuries in NSW police operations are linked to mental
health crises.

Responding to mental health crises is a health issue that requires a health focused approach. Mental health professionals should be at the forefront of providing services to people in mental health distress, including those who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.

We must invest in multidisciplinary responses to critical incidents involving mental health crises as
alternatives to the current practice that places police in situations for which they are ill-equipped, thereby
risking their own safety as well as the safety of those in crisis. First responders should involve teams trained
in crisis intervention, counselling and de-escalation techniques who have the skills and expertise to avoid
people in crisis suffering serious injury or death.

Acting Commissioner of Police David Hudson and the Police Association of NSW endorse an alternative
approach to police having to be the first responders.

We call on the NSW Government to act now, save lives and prevent tragedies by investing in mental health
professionals as first responders.

Read more here.