Tag Archive | Section 136

A Country Mile

My esteemed colleague Michael Brown OBE, recently posted this blog called missing the point as a response to the comments of Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, in relation to police managing mental health crises.

My blog Ever Decreasing Vicious Circles was posted very soon after the report was published and covers a lot of the same territory.

Both of us have attempted, in our own ways, to consider the issue of whether we actually want the police dealing with such incidents and how we have ended up in this position. Not just looking at the how we do it or the where we do it – but asking the more fundamental question of how it got to a position where the police are a first resort response to mental health issues? Read More…

Exceptional Circumstances – the Cart Before The Horse

Within the next two months, aspects of the Police and Crime Act 2017 relating to the Mental Health Act will come into force.

These will affect where a police officer can invoke Section 136 (which will increase the places in which it can be used) and it will stipulate that a police officer must, where practicable, consult with a mental health professional before using Section 136.

Both of these amendments are likely to lead to foreseeable issues. It is almost certain that the use of Section 136 will rise given the fact it will be possible to use it in private places other than dwellings. (The removal of the word “finds” is also likely to legalise the “would you mind stepping outside” tactic which has been previously unlawful. I’m not sure this was the Government’s intention but it’s obvious this will happen.)

In order to mitigate against this possible rise comes the stipulation regarding speaking to a mental health professional before using the power. Except there are some problems here as well. Read More…

A Long Way To Go

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything blog-wise, let alone anything on the subject of mental health and policing. That is not to say that I haven’t been watching closely what has been developing though I haven’t been as close to it as perhaps I once was.

I have also spent 4 months away from the front line of policing whilst doing some project work for the force I work for. I returned to my usual role as a response team inspector last month. Read More…

Street Triage: A Diversion From the Real Problem?

It cannot have escaped your notice that I have some reservations about the Street Triage programme. I have blogged about them before here

My main problems with it are that it still relies on the police rather than a fully resourced and re-imagined “crisis team” (working with a much broader definition of ‘crisis’) and the fact that it does nothing to address the issues of training, legislation, restraint, bed spaces, transport, exclusion criteria, handover to the NHS or avoidance of cells for those who are detained. Read More…

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