Surrey Police v PC [2024] EWHC 1274 (Fam)

DOL in police cell (1) The High Court authorised deprivation of liberty under its inherent jurisdiction in a police cell while a hospital bed was being found. (2) The judge endorsed guidance advocated by the Official Solicitor for future cases that involve an application to the court to authorise the deprivation of an individual's liberty in the police station either under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court or section 4A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. (3) The local authority was ordered to pay the OS's costs.

ICLR

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The WLR Daily case summaries

[2024] WLR(D) 253B

Family Division

Surrey Police v PC and others

[2024] EWHC 1274 (Fam)B

2023 April 26; 2024 May 24

Theis J

'Mental health— Practice— Deprivation of liberty— Adult appearing to suffer from mental disorder arrested, taken to police custody suite and kept there as place of safety pending availability of hospital bed for admission and detention for mental health assessment— Police making emergency application for authorisation of further deprivation of liberty on mental health grounds— Whether application to be granted— Guidance on applications seeking authorisation for deprivation of liberty in police station on mental health grounds— Mental Health Act 1983 (c 20), ss 2, 136 — Mental Capacity Act 2005 (c 9), s 4A

An adult experiencing difficulties with his mental health was arrested in relation to a criminal offence and taken by police officers to a hospital where he was determined to be unfit for assessment under the Mental Health Act 1983 but deemed medically fit. The police took him to their custody centre as a place of safety and temporarily restrained him there pursuant to section 136 of the 1983 Act. He was later assessed by a psychiatrist who recommended that he be admitted and detained by the local treating hospital under section 2 of the 1983 Act for full assessment but no placement beds were at that time available. Over 48 hours after the individual’s detention, with a bed still unavailable for his transfer to hospital and having extended his detention under section 136 of the 1983 Act, the police made an emergency out of hours application to the court to authorise the deprivation of the individual’s liberty in the police custody suite until he could be admitted to hospital.

On the application—

Held, application granted. Due to the urgency of the situation and the short period of time before a treatment bed became available it was appropriate to make orders under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court authorising the deprivation of liberty but the matter was to be returned before the court the following morning (paras 19–20).

Guidance on applications under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court or section 4A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 seeking to authorise the deprivation of an individual’s liberty in a police station (para 29).

Justin Slater (instructed by Weightmans LLP) for the police force.

Ian Brownhill (instructed by Official Solicitor) for the detainee, by his litigation friend, the Official Solicitor.

Katie Gollop KC (instructed by Hill Dickinson LLP) for the NHS Trust.

Amanda Scally (instructed by Legal Team, Surrey County Council) for the local authority.

Thomas Barnes, Solicitor

Referenced Legislation

Mental Health Act 1983 (c 20), ss 2, 136

Mental Capacity Act 2005 (c 9), s 4A

CASES DATABASE

Full judgment: BAILII

Subject(s):

  • Deprivation of liberty🔍

Date: 24/5/24🔍

Court: High Court (Family Division)🔍

Judge(s):

Parties:

  • Surrey Police🔍
  • PC🔍
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust🔍
  • Surrey County Council🔍

Citation number(s):

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Published: 13/6/24 13:56

Cached: 2024-07-23 14:35:50