Home Office (Central government) (2016) UKICO FS50618706, [2016] MHLO 18

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"The complainant has requested information about police powers under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act to detain mentally disordered persons found in public places. By the date of this notice the Home Office had not responded to the request. The Commissioner’s decision is that by failing to respond to the request, the Home Office breached sections 1(1) and 10(1) of the FOIA. The Commissioner requires the Home Office to take the following steps. to ensure compliance with the legislation: Issue a response to the request under the FOIA by either complying with section 1(1) or issuing a valid refusal notice. The Home Office must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court." The request was: "What qualifies a constable to take decisions regarding the mental health of a member of the public, and how is this not a breach of human rights. This is a particularly important request in the context that police forces are unlawfully detaining innocent members of the public by use of this Act."

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