MHA UPDATES:- s135 and s136

December 2017                      No: 1

Some small but important changes to police powers of detention, in relation to persons considered by the police to require protection, came into force on 11 December 2017.

  1. PUBLIC PLACE – now includes anywhere, as the only places specifically excluded are the person’s residence.
  2. PLACE OF SAFETY – can be any place considered safe in relation to the perceived harm. Therefore, the person’s own home or a friend’s / relative’s home may be appropriate. The police must consult a registered medical practitioner / nurse / AMHP if practicable, before exercising their power.
  3. A POLICE STATION – cannot now be used for anyone under 18, and for others the maximum detention is 24hours. A registered medical practitioner can extend this by 12 hours if required, to undertake an assessment.

It remains to be seen, whether the fine words of the statute, are backed up by the necessary resources.