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Changes to MHA s.135 and s.136

Thank you very much to Inspector Michael Brown for all his hard work in influencing these important changes to s.135 and s.136 which are contained in the Policing and Crime Act 2017. These changes are expected to implemented around May 2017. Many of the outstanding questions will be clarified when the regulations are published.

His operational policies for police officers are really helpful.

There are many challenges here, not least the 24 assessment period and the limited circumstances that it can be extended. A lack of a bed will not be a good reason, so what happens then?

I expect that one factor behind this new law is the frustration felt by the police service. The consequences hopefully will be building on the imaginative collaboration between health, social service, the not for profit sector and the police in safely and appropriately assessing very vulnerable people who are often in a crisis.

From my perspective I would ask how often those crises come about because of inadequate (and sometimes unlawful) responses from health and social services to a mental health crisis driven by lack of beds?


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