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Dozen police officers forced to guard prisoners at Birmingham hospital

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At least a dozen police officers were forced to take time out from the front line to guard prisoners at Birmingham hospital, it has emerged.

Officers from West Midlands Police Force Response this morning tweeted their amazement at seeing six police cars in City Hospital car park.

They tweeted: My colleague and I turned out early to relieve night officers at hospital. This is the scene outside A&E this morning.

"Aunit with you again this morning. My colleague and I turned out early to relieve night officers at hospital. This is the scene outside A and E this morning. Each car represents 2 officers on a hospital watch with prisoners from custody or vulnerable people."

The six police vehicles spotted outside City Hospital, Birmingham, this morning(Picture: Force)

Sarah Hanson tweeted: I was at City Hospital A&E two weeks ago and was shocked at how much time police have to take out of other duties doing this.

A police officer, writing under the name The Thin Blue Line, said: Shocking.

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Police officers have to accompany those in custody to hospital for emergencies and appointments and also can spend hours and hours dealing with someone who has been arrested under the Mental Health Act.

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The Response team tweeted: Once police detain someone under 136 of the MHA officers need to remain with them until they are assessed. They are detained and can not leave. If they are medically unfit they need treating first. Hospital security have no powers to detain.

In recent weeks the forces top brass have complained about the massive cuts West Midlands Police have had to cope with and the impact on policing.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson outlined his concerns last week in a blog for National Police Chiefs Council.

That's a crazy use of resources to prop up the NHS and prison service.

— James Hartwright (@JamesHartw) October 11, 2018

He said: The publics experience is policing that is less visible, less responsive and less proactive.

Core aspects of policing such as answering calls, attending emergencies, investigating crime, bringing offenders to justice and neighbourhood policing are being pushed beyond sustainability, and are in danger of becoming ineffective to the detriment of confidence in the police.

We are in danger of pursuing efficiency to the point of ineffectiveness, where we can process the work but were not detecting crime as we should be and not meeting public expectations.

He added: Policing is at the tipping point – and we need to move on from here.

West Midlands Polices Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe also complained resources were spread to thinly and in an internal email to staff said performance was not good enough

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