- This quick guide is an attempt to “operationalise” some complex issues but you should refer to your own force policy and your supervisors for specific local requirements.
- INTIAL ACTION
- Decide whether the police are going to attend the assessment:
- There is a legal duty only where the AMHP has a warrant OR where there are predicted RAVE risks
- Otherwise – it is discretionary.
- If there are RAVE risks from the patient, ask for a s135(1) warrant to be obtained – document any refusal / inability.
- Yes, the AMHP absolutely CAN apply for a warrant even if they know they can obtain access.
- The point of doing so, is the warrant allows the management of risk once inside, by removing for assessment in a place of safety, if need be.
- If there are RAVE risks from a third party, familiarise yourself with:
- s115 MHA – AMHPs right of inspection to premises – no power of entry to do so;
- s129 MHA – criminal offence of obstructing an AMHP in the course of their duty
- Ensure the quick guide for conveyance is your next read.
- LEGAL REMINDERS
- Whether to apply for a warrant is a decision for the AMHP
- Whether to ask for a warrant, is the right of the police.
- Without a warrant under s135(1) of the Mental Health Act, the police have NO powers to use force until: –
- the AMHP has ‘sectioned’ the patient or unless a criminal offence is attempted or a breach of the peace apprehended.
- With a warrant under s135(1) , the police can force entry if need be, and remove to a place of safety if thought fit.
- Whether to remove to a place of safety is a decision for the police.
- If you do so, follow the same procedure as if for s136 MHA.
- A MORE DETAILED EXPLANATION ON s135 MENTAL HEALTH ACT
- More articles on various aspects of assessments on private premises.
The Mental Health Cop blog
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– won a World of Mentalists #TWIMAward for the best in mental health blogs
– was highlighted by the Independent Commission on Policing & Mental Health
– was referenced in the UK Parliamentary debate on Policing & Mental Health
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