Section 136 and Section 135 of the Mental Health Act ‘Place of Safety’
Section 136 of the Mental Health Act (as amended) is a provision that allows a police officer to remove a person who appears to suffer with a mental health condition from a public place and into a ‘place of safety’ if the officer feels that the person is a danger to themselves or others in the community. The place of safety would ideally be a Section 136 suite in a mental health institute however, when this is not an option, a place of safety may be in A&E, a care home or a police station.
New changes to the Mental Health Act implemented by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 have resulted in changes in how these sections are conducted, one of these changes being that a child under section 136 cannot be detained at a police station under any condition.
Section 135 of the Mental Health Act (as amended) is a provision that allows a police officer to enter a person’s home with a warrant to take that person to a place of safety or as stated by the new changes to the section, can detain the person where they are staying at the time if deemed suitable.
Amendments to both these sections means that the time frame a person can be detained by a police officer in a place of safety is up to 24 hours rather than the previous 72 hours. This time frame allows a medical practitioner to examine the person’s mental health in order to conclude whether they need further treatment, the medical practitioner may extend the time frame of 24 hours by 12 hours if necessary.
Please see Hannah Sweeney’s article for more details on how sections 135 and 136 have been amended. Additionally if you feel that you have been wrongly detained under either of these sections please do not hesitate to contact us.