Having worked in local government for many years previously, I can fully appreciate how difficult it is for the police in these situations. I often had to wait for hours for social services to come and help a child in my care. The problem is that there are just not enough mental health beds or workers to deal with the workload.
The numbers quoted here are actually smaller than I have witnessed elsewhere, but five children are five too many.
My biggest concern however, is the comments from readers. Many have the typical misconception that the children are obviously on drink or drugs and that the police were called because they were aggressive. Even if they are, there are specialised hospital beds that can be used, there is just not enough of them. It is comments like this that have spurred me on to raise awareness.
If police cells were full of people with broken legs, there would be an uproar. But, because they have mental illness, people think it is obviously because they need to be.