Capgemini Invent with the Metropolitan Police

Capgemini Invent with the Metropolitan Police

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

MCA Awards Finalist 2024The experience of Antonio Ferreira, founder of the Hear Me Speak campaign, encapsulates one part of the case for change. “I planned to attempt to take my own life,” he says. “My psychiatrist alerted emergency services and both ambulance and police were called. After the ambulance [was] dismissed, because no one was hurt, the police then insisted it became a criminal investigation.” His experience initially led him to feel anger towards the police before developing his campaign to bring better outcomes for both police officers and individuals in a mental health crisis.

Scenes like this are common across the UK’s emergency services. The police have become the default agency for responding to a wide range of social problems, including physical and mental health incidents. In March 2023 alone, Met officers detained 573 people under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and many more under Section 135, the two most commonly used powers of detention where someone poses a risk to themselves or others. But having police attend to medical emergencies can often do more harm than good; the real need is usually for specialist care.

In July 2023, the then Home Secretary announced an ambitious plan to overhaul 999 and 101 call-handling across England and Wales, intending to free up a million police hours yearly. The new approach, “Right Care, Right Person” (RCRP), is designed to ensure that the most appropriate agency handles health and welfare incidents rather than defaulting to the police. The Metropolitan Police Service (Met) partnered with us to achieve the necessary culture change across its Command-and-Control Centres (MetCC).

Successful policy change required extensive collaboration across policing, health and social care partners, necessitating rapid behavioural and procedural change. Traditional training methods weren’t sufficient to ensure MetCC operators adopted new practices under pressure. We designed and delivered experiential training revolving around real-life scenarios to ensure operators referred the right calls to the right agencies. For four months post go-live, we tailored our 24/7 support based on performance and adoption data.

The results speak for themselves: a new culture and processes are now embedded, freeing up over 140,000 officer hours in the first four months and improving access to specialised care for vulnerable individuals. With ~200 fewer mental health detentions monthly since implementation, RCRP is facilitating better outcomes to those in distress. Our external communication and engagement activity has had a significant impact: the Met has seen a 67 per cent decrease in requests for welfare checks. Beyond the statistics, feedback reveals that officers feel they are better able to do the job they signed up for.

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