- 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 Mental Health Officer has secured a removal order OR where there are predicted RAVE risks
- Otherwise – it is discretionary.
- If there are RAVE Risks from the patient, ask for a s293 removal order to be obtained – document any refusal / inability.
- Yes, the MHO 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:
- s317 MHA(S) – criminal offence of obstructing an MHO 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 MHO
- Whether to ask for a warrant, is the right of the police.
- Without a removal order under s293 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act, the police have NO powers to use force until: –
- the MHO has ‘sectioned’ the patient or unless a criminal offence is attempted or a breach of the peace apprehended.
- With a removal order under s293, the police can force entry if need be, and remove to a place of safety if necessary.
- 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.
I want to place on record my thanks to Sgt Andy WILSON and PC Fiona WILSON from Police Scotland for proof reading these posts on Scottish mental health law and offering suggestions that translate my English efforts over the border. #teamtayside
The Mental Health Cop blog
– won the ConnectedCOPS ‘Top Cop’ Award for leveraging social media in policing.
– won the Digital Media Award from the UK’s leading mental health charity, Mind
– 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
– was commended by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament.