Recently, the New South Wales police have failed to produce a review of the way they have responded to mental health crises, which was promised to the government. The recent shooting of a mentally unwell man by police, has heightened pressure for police reforms.
Alexander Stuart Pinnock, was shot at by multiple officers following a two-hour standoff which began after Pinnock threatened staff with a pistol. He was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.
In 2023, the police response to mental health emergencies was criticised as officers fatally wounded or shot four people in mental health crises. In response to this, the police minister commissioned a 3 month review, which was aimed to be complete at the start of November.
Currently, the report has not been finished.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president, Lydia Shelly, called on the government and police, urging them to make systemic changes to prevent fatal outcomes for people suffering from mental health issues.
“While we are sympathetic to individual officers who attend these incidents, we cannot continue to have people experiencing mental health episodes die as a result of police intervention – there must be more effective ways to handle noncompliant individuals in mental health crises without resorting to lethal force,” she said.
Pinnock's family have said “lessons can be learned from this horrible event and improvements can be made across the board to better care for those struggling in our midst”.
“This does not excuse his actions and it does not lessen the impact felt by those close to the incident”
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