The number of mentally ill people being locked up in police stations cells for their own safety has fallen dramatically across London, figures show.

Health experts from the Cavendish Square Group, a collaboration of the 10 London NHS trusts responsible for mental health services, have confirmed the use of London police cells has fallen to its lowest level since records began.

From 87 instances in London in 2013, figures now show just one police cell being used in this way across the capital each month.

Cavendish Square Group chairman Claire Murdoch said: "The challenge now is to maintain the momentum and ultimately stop it happening altogether.

"We need to ensure that investment in health-based places of safety continues, so when officers are supporting people in mental health crisis, there are appropriate places of safety available."

In 2013 the Mental Health Partnership Board (MHPB) was formed to forge closer ties between mental health services and the Met Police.

One of only two stated priorities was to reduce the number of times people in crisis were taken into police custody when in need of a safe space.

Maria Kane, lead liaison between the NHS and the Met, said: "Our ambition was to work with the police to stop the practice of taking people in mental distress to police cells and instead ensure they are taken to an appropriate environment to assess their needs and give them access to the right support quickly.

"In the last two months recorded, no one has been in a police cell."