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Chaos

Section 136 MHA

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Chaos

A discussion at the moment in out station about 136 MHA....

 

2 points...

 

1, can a person be sectioned while sat in a back of a police car?

 

2, can a person be sectioned if they are in their own vehicle?

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Beaker

1 :: Can't you 136 people once they're in custody? Always been fuzzy on that. If so then if they're in the car they're arguably in custody already.

2 :: It is a 'public place', so I don't see why not.

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Sceptre

Before we go any further it's important to remind ourselves that the wording of S136 has changed quite drastically and removed the reference to people "found in a public place". The start of the section now says:

Quote

(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.

So now the power has been widened the answer to both those questions is yes so long as the vehicles in question aren't parked in a yard or garden used exclusively in connection with the person in question's dwelling. There are other requirements about speaking to a relevant professional if practicable to do so of course.

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Chaos
1 hour ago, Sceptre said:
Before we go any further it's important to remind ourselves that the wording of S136 has changed quite drastically and removed the reference to people "found in a public place". The start of the section now says:
Quote

(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.

Quote

So now the power has been widened the answer to both those questions is yes so long as the vehicles in question aren't parked in a yard or garden used exclusively in connection with the person in question's dwelling. There are other requirements about speaking to a relevant professional if practicable to do so of course.


See now that's what I thought...

Someone was telling me that you can't section in the back of a police car becouse it's a private premises... The same as a private vehicle... I begged to differ...

I wonder if that would count for a motorhome / caravan, depending on how it was being used at the time...

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Sceptre

That person might have had a point a year ago but is out of date now.

As for the caravan, it will depend on its use. There is an absence of interpretation either within S136(1A) or the guidance notes issued by the government as to what sort of structure it envisages, or the permanence it attaches to the word "living", and no caselaw yet to define it. How long does someone need to stay in a caravan to be said to be living there? How about a hotel room? Might it even include a tent? The interpretation is very much left up to the reader.

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Beaker



How about a hotel room? Might it even include a tent? The interpretation is very much left up to the reader.


Guidance I was given by mental health services relating to hotel rooms was "no". If they're in the room we can't touch them, if they're in the communal areas we now can. Treat it the same as a HMO.

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SimonT

3 questions.. 

Is it capable of being used as a dwelling 

Is it being used as a dwelling 

Do they have permission to be there 

If the answer is yes to all 3 then 136 is off. 

You can encourage them to leave said dwelling and the law appears quite happy for this. 

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SD
10 hours ago, SimonT said:

3 questions.. 

Is it capable of being used as a dwelling 

Is it being used as a dwelling 

Do they have permission to be there 

If the answer is yes to all 3 then 136 is off. 

You can encourage them to leave said dwelling and the law appears quite happy for this. 

Where does the word “dwelling” come into 136? Because it says house/flat/garage/garden. As such ANY car, motor home or even tent is fair game. If they meant dwelling, they’d have said dwelling.

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SimonT

(a)any house, flat or room where that person, or any other person, is living,

Dwelling was shorthand. But I appreciate the point 

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SD
8 minutes ago, SimonT said:

(a)any house, flat or room where that person, or any other person, is living,

Dwelling was shorthand. But I appreciate the point 

No offence but re-read you post, “is it capable of being a dwelling”  isn't shorthand at all.

If they live in a moter home it still isn’t a house or a flat so you can still 136 someone in it. 

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Sceptre

So Parliament's intention in amending the legislation was that the transient and homeless are not entitled to the same protection as everyone else?

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Beaker
No offence but re-read you post, “is it capable of being a dwelling”  isn't shorthand at all.
If they live in a moter home it still isn’t a house or a flat so you can still 136 someone in it. 
Going back to advice I was given. If it is a static caravan and plumbed in, with fixed electricity and gas they would consider it to be a house. If it can be moved by simply clipping it on to the back of a van we could 136 in it.

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SD
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Sceptre said:

So Parliament's intention in amending the legislation was that the transient and homeless are not entitled to the same protection as everyone else?

Their intention is reflected in the legislation had they meant dwellings they would’ve used that word. They didn’t so it’s Houses and flats not camper vans and tents. Why are cops so insistent on changing legislation that’s pretty clear to meet their own ends? Sure, argue what the definition of a house is but don’t change the word completely to mean something different.

Edited by SD

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Lone Wolf
On 14/06/2018 at 02:11, Beaker said:


 

 


Guidance I was given by mental health services relating to hotel rooms was "no". If they're in the room we can't touch them, if they're in the communal areas we now can. Treat it the same as a HMO.

I personally wouldn't be relying on MH services to correctly interpret the law for me, especially since their answer will likely be based on whatever has the potential to cause them the least amount of work.

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Beaker
I personally wouldn't be relying on MH services to correctly interpret the law for me, especially since their answer will likely be based on whatever has the potential to cause them the least amount of work.
I was ringing the special number we had been given for advice on the new rules. I'd trust them.

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