A high-ranking police officer has told the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System that police are increasingly acting as first responders as they attend a growing number of mental health call-outs.
Eastern Region Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir, who has 38 years' experience in the police force, told the inquiry police were attending a mental health incident every 12 minutes.
"The number of incidents that we're attending is increasing incredibly," Assistant Commissioner Weir said.
"It is one of the, if not the, pre-eminent issue facing our service."
The Assistant Commissioner said incidents involving a "psychiatric crisis" increased by almost 90 per cent in the four years to 2018.
The commission also heard 14,000 people were detained by police for treatment under the Mental Health Act in 2016-2017, up by almost 170 per cent in just six years.
- Victorian police say calls involving a "psychiatric crisis" grew by almost 90 per cent in the four years to 2018
- Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir says transporting people with mental health issues shouldn't be a core police duty
- Police want an increased focus on treating people with mental health problems before they get to crisis stage