More than 347 children were held in police cells last year in England and Wales because police thought they were mentally ill. The children, some as young as 11, had not necessarily been involved in any crime. Some were held for over 24 hours.
The children were held under the Mental Health Act which allows them to be held in a “safe place”. The government said it will spend £54 million on children’s mental health by 2015. That’s just over £1 per year, per child.