Section 136: Mentally disordered persons found in public places

This section may be the precursor to criminal proceedings. The police power in this section is as follows:

(1) If a person appears to a constable to be suffering from mental disorder and to be in immediate need of care or control, the constable may, if he thinks it necessary to do so in the interests of that person or for the protection of other persons—

(a) remove the person to a place of safety within the meaning of section 135, or
(b) if the person is already at a place of safety within the meaning of that section, keep the person at that place or remove the person to another place of safety.

(1A) The power of a constable under subsection (1) may be exercised where the mentally disordered person is at any place, other than—

(a) any house, flat or room where that person, or any other person, is living, or
(b) any yard, garden, garage or outhouse that is used in connection with the house, flat or room, other than one that is also used in connection with one or more other houses, flats or rooms.

(1B) For the purpose of exercising the power under subsection (1), a constable may enter any place where the power may be exercised, if need be by force. (1C) Before deciding to remove a person to, or to keep a person at, a place of safety under subsection (1), the constable must, if it is practicable to do so, consult

(a) a registered medical practitioner,
(b) a registered nurse,
(c) an approved mental health professional, or
(d) a person of a description specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) A person removed to, or kept at, a place of safety under this section may be detained there for a period not exceeding the permitted period of detention for the purpose of enabling him to be examined by a registered medical practitioner and to be interviewed by an approved mental health professional and of making any necessary arrangements for his treatment or care.

The permitted period of detention, the prohibition on using a police station for children, and the safeguards in relation to adults, all apply as for s135.

There is no right of appeal against detention.

The patient is not subject to the Part 4 ‘Consent to Treatment’ provisions.

This section was amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2017.


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