Mental health law briefing 228 – Proposed amendments to Sections 135 and 136 Mental Health Act
The Policing and Crime Bill is currently going through Parliament. This includes proposed amendments to Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act.
The main change proposed to Section 135 is to allow a Police Constable executing a warrant to keep the person at the premises, rather than having to remove them to a place of safety.
In relation to Section 136, it is proposed that a Constable may remove a person who appears to be suffering from a mental disorder and in immediate need of care and control, either to a place of safety or, if already in a place of safety, keep them there. It should be noted that the proposed amended Section 136 expressly does not apply only to people found in public places, and that the permitted period of detention will be 24 hours, subject to the ability of a doctor to extend that for a further 12 hours.
The amended Section 136 will also include a right of entry if need be by force to any house or other place that a person is living.
These proposals are still subject to Parliamentary debate and scrutiny whilst the Bill continues through Parliament. There may therefore be further changes before they are enacted.
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