The ‘New’ Section 135

What follows is the full, amended text of section 136 Mental Health Act 1983, as it will be following a commencement order for the Policing and Crime Act 2017 which will bring it in to effect. See related posts for the ‘new’ section 136 MHA, including sections 136A, 136B and 136C, as well as section 138.

NB! – this is NOT the current law as of 03rd March 2017 – this is the law as it will become, following a commencement order yet to be laid before Parliament. The full Mental Health Act 1983, as it stands today and which will be kept updated once the commencement order takes effect, can be found on the UK Government legislation website.


Section 135 – Warrant to search for and remove patients.

(1) If it appears to a justice of the peace, on information on oath laid by an approved mental health professional, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person believed to be suffering from mental disorder—

(a) has been, or is being, ill-treated, neglected or kept otherwise than under proper control, in any place within the jurisdiction of the justice, or

(b) being unable to care for himself, is living alone in any such place,the justice may issue a warrant authorising any constable to enter, if need be by force, any premises specified in the warrant in which that person is believed to be, and, if thought fit, to remove him to a place of safety with a view to the making of an application in respect of him under Part II of this Act, or of other arrangements for his treatment or care.

(1A) If the premises specified in the warrant are a place of safety, the constable executing the warrant may, instead of removing the person to another place of safety, keep the person at those premises for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1).

(2) If it appears to a justice of the peace, on information on oath laid by any constable or other person who is authorised by or under this Act or under article 8 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2005 to take a patient to any place, or to take into custody or retake a patient who is liable under this Act or under the said article to be so taken or retaken—

(a) that there is reasonable cause to believe that the patient is to be found on premises within the jurisdiction of the justice; and

(b) that admission to the premises has been refused or that a refusal of such admission is apprehended,the justice may issue a warrant authorising any constable to enter the premises, if need be by force, and remove the patient.

(3)A patient who is removed to a place of safety in the execution of a warrant issued under subsection (1) or kept at the premises specified in the warrant under subsection (1A), may be detained there for a period not exceeding the permitted period of detention.

(3ZA) In subsection (3), “the permitted period of detention” means—

(a) the period of 24 hours beginning with—

(i) in a case where the person is removed to a place of safety, the time when the person arrives at that place;

(ii) in a case where the person is kept at the premises specified in the warrant, the time when the constable first entered the premises to execute the warrant; or

(b) where an authorisation is given in relation to the person under section 136B, that period of 24 hours and such further period as is specified in the authorisation.

(3A) A constable, an approved mental health professional or a person authorised by either of them for the purposes of this subsection may, before the end of the permitted period of detention mentioned in subsection (3) above, take a person detained in a place of safety under that subsection to one or more other places of safety.

(3B) A person taken to a place of safety under subsection (3A) above may be detained there for a period ending no later than the end of the permitted period of detention mentioned in subsection (3) above.

(4) In the execution of a warrant issued under subsection (1) above, a constable shall be accompanied by an approved mental health professional and by a registered medical practitioner, and in the execution of a warrant issued under subsection (2) above a constable may be accompanied—

(a) by a registered medical practitioner;

(b) by any person authorised by or under this Act or under article 8 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2005 to take or retake the patient.

(5) It shall not be necessary in any information or warrant under subsection (1) above to name the patient concerned.

(6) In this section “place of safety” means residential accommodation provided by a local social services authority under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 or Part 4 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 a hospital as defined by this Act, a police station, an independent hospital or care home for mentally disordered persons or any other suitable place.

(7) For the purpose of subsection (6)—

(a) a house, flat or room where a person is living may not be regarded as a suitable place unless—

(i) if the person believed to be suffering from a mental disorder is the sole occupier of the place, that person agrees to the use of the place as a place of safety;

(ii) if the person believed to be suffering from a mental disorder is an occupier of the place but not the sole occupier, both that person and one of the other occupiers agree to the use of the place as a place of safety;

(iii) if the person believed to be suffering from a mental disorder is not an occupier of the place, both that person and the occupier (or, if more than one, one of the occupiers) agree to the use of the place as a place of safety;

(b) a place other than one mentioned in paragraph (a) may not be regarded as a suitable place unless a person who appears to the constable exercising powers under this section to be responsible for the management of the place agrees to its use as a place of safety.

(8) This section is subject to section 136A which makes provision about the removal and taking of persons to a police station under this section.

The full Mental Health Act 1983, which will be updated once the commencement order takes effect, can be found here.


IMG_0053IMG_0052Winner of the President’s Medal from
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award.


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