what officers generally experience is staff within the 136 suite who either don't care or are simply so overworked that they don't do their job to anywhere near the standard expected
The best example I can give to evidence this is when a s136 PATIENT is taken to the suite by police we have an agreed policy which states that a joint risk assessment will be conducted and then the patient handed over to staff. I have never ever known staff to supervise a patient in any way. Normally they disappear back to the ward and remain there until the procedures are complete.
Essentially the person remains in the custody of the police while in a hospital because staff do not wish to take responsibility. Police officers are increasingly criticised due to our poor knowledge in relation to mental health but ultimately there is only so much we can do when met with so little by the apparent professionals.
Staff members will routinely state that they do not have the staff available to supervise a s136 patient although they are at a dedicated s136 suite. This means the patient gets no interaction with anyone trained in mental health other than during their often brief assessment, no chance to talk to a qualified professional or anything like this.despite it being written down in black and white that the staff are meant to supervise and engage with the patient.
Then there is the complete lack of caring among ward staff. Patients go missing and are reported missing hours later with such vague details from staff there is little the police can do to find them. Suicidal patients often walk out as they are unsupervised.
I know all the other officers I work with have no problem supporting the nhs staff but especially with s136 patients it feels a lot less like support and a lot more like covering for someone else who isn't available for whatever reason.