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Police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis praises work of Burton officers - and says he will take concerns on board

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: September 05, 2014

By Laura Hammond

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MENTAL health concerns raised by police officers in Burton will be taken forward to help develop a strategy to improve services in this part of the county.

Police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis told the Mail that comments made by officers in the town during a meeting yesterday would form part of a strategy tackling issues with prosecuting people with mental health problems, which has been successful in other parts of the county.

Speaking during a 'Let's Talk' event at the town's Asda store, he also used the opportunity to praise the approach of officers in this area to dealing with this and other issues in a rapidly changing policing environment.

He said: "The meeting about multi-agency working which I had with East Staffordshire police was without question the best one I have had across Staffordshire.

"Officers demonstrated they understood what we are trying to do. I have talked a lot about why this isn't being done elsewhere.

"I have got concerns, and I have picked up more concerns in Burton and I will take that on board."

Significant investment is planned to boost mental health services in the south of the county, including Burton, following a successful pilot in other parts of Staffordshire.

Mr Ellis said he hoped it would help with some of the challenges brought by cuts to the supporting people budget at Staffordshire County Council.

He added: "There are huge challenges and I'm really keen to see how I can help, as I am in a better financial position than most.

"As far as I'm concerned finances should not be split – it's not police money or council money or crown court money, it's all public money.

"That's the approach that I am taking."

In a wide-ranging interview, he also touched on challenges facing the area – something which he was very clear about.

He said: "Child sex exploitation and cyber crime – we need to talk about these things without worrying people, as we have got a hard job ahead of us."

Work is already under way on a scheme to improve the approach to sex exploitation, he added.

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