Hospital opens North Yorkshire’s first ‘place of safety’

Mental Health - Sadnessoriginally by: BBC News published: 27 January 2014

People detained by police under the mental health act in Scarborough will no longer be held in a cell. Instead, they will go to a new facility – known as a “place of safety” – that has opened at the town’s Cross Lane Hospital. North Yorkshire is the last English county to open such a unit.

The region’s Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: “It’s good news because people shouldn’t be in cells, they should be in hospitals.”

Police have the power under the Mental Health Act to take people they suspect of being mentally disturbed and who could be a danger to themselves or others to a “place of safety” to be assessed by a doctor.

This detention may only last up to 72 hours.

The new facility, which has space for just one person at a time, will cost about £250,000 a year to operate.

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