Police stations should not be used to detain people with mental health problems, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health has said.
A new power introduced today allows a person detained in a "place of safety" under the Mental Health Act to be moved to another location before they are assessed.
This means people who are taken by police officers to a police station can be moved to a hospital or care home.
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health chief executive Angela Greatley has urged the police to move such people as quickly as possible. She said: "People who are picked up in public places by the police in an emergency are highly vulnerable. A police station is never the best place for such people to be kept for as much as three days. Police officers are rarely trained to manage their needs and the risk of suicide is very high."
For more details, visit www.scmh.org.uk