In the news… Teenagers experiencing mental health problems will no longer be detained in police cells as a “place of safety”.

Home Secretary Theresa May will announce later an overhaul of mental health laws in England and Wales.

The government review is also set to recommend adults should only be kept in a police cell as a place of safety in exceptional circumstances.

It comes after a 16-year-old girl was kept in police cells for two days last month because of a lack of care beds.

Her situation, in Torquay, came to public attention when Paul Netherton, assistant chief constable at Devon and Cornwall Police, tweeted his concerns. She was eventually found a bed on an adult psychiatric ward.

The joint Home Office and Department of Health review of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act also recommends reducing the maximum length of detention for someone in mental distress from 72 hours to 24 hours.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Too frequently it is a police officer who responds to a vulnerable person in crisis, and I am determined to put an end to children who are suffering a mental illness being detained in police cells.

“There is no place for this in our society.

“Vulnerable children and adults should be treated by police with respect and compassion, but I am very clear that it is the job of health professionals to provide the proper healthcare and support required.”

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