999: What’s Your Emergency? continues to follow the work of Cheshire Police and will be broadcast this Thursday (28 July) on Channel 4 at 9pm.
This programme explores the complex issues surrounding the care of people suffering mental health problems in the UK and the increasing role that police and ambulance staff are now having to play in supporting those affected.
In Warrington, PC Karl Dickin is called at 4 am to the home of a woman in her twenties who is suffering a severe mental health episode and is desperate for help. But with cuts in community support and the number of mental health beds available, the police are faced with limited options.
PC Dickin says: “I don’t believe the police are in the best position to manage mental health. But if we didn’t, who else would answer these cries for help?
“If there are no hospitals available then where do you take this person? You can’t just drop them off in the street. You can’t drop them back at home because the root cause hasn’t been resolved. You can’t drive around with them through your entire shift in the back of the car.”
The brand new series of 999: What’s Your Emergency? focuses on the work of police and paramedics in Cheshire. The series follows incidents from the moment the 999 call is made to the arrival of the frontline police and paramedics – the hard-working men and women who protect us from ourselves and each other while seeing us as we really are. They talk with honesty and wit about the ever-increasing challenges of modern Britain.