Source: Michael Brown ‘MentalHealthCop’
One specific amendment to the Mental Health Act 1983 which will be with us shortly: it will no longer be lawful to hold children in police stations as a Place of Safety under the Act – ever! The legal amendment in s81 PaCA on this is a simple one: the MHA will read, “A child may not, in the exercise of a power to which this section applies, be removed to, kept at or taken to a place of safety that is a police station.” (Section 136A MHA, as it will be amended.)
Here are two particular points on this amendment –
- A child is anyone under the age of 18yrs – someone who is 17yrs and 364 days old is a child – see section 136A(5)(a) MHA.
- The size, strength and presentation of the child are completely irrelevant – if they are under 18yrs of age it means they must be removed to a non-police station location.
- End of debate! – at least as far as age is concerned.
- The amendment is a ban on the use of police stations – any child detained under ss135/6 cannot be accommodated in any part of a police station. It’s not just a ban on the use of police custody.
- Therefore, front office interview rooms, the more comfortable interview rooms sometimes used for vulnerable or serious crime victims … all of them will be out-of-bounds for children where they form a part of a police station.
Read full post at source: PACA – No children in Police Stations by mentalhealthcop
Follow Michael Brown on twitter @MentalHealthCop
This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
For background to the series, see the introductory post which outlines why I’m doing this and what other specific issues will be covered concerning laws that will come in to effect in the next few months. Current Home Office estimations of timescales suggest late November / early December – but this is subject to a number of factors and may change.
One specific amendment to the Mental Health Act 1983 which will be with us shortly: it will no longer be lawful to hold children in police stations as a Place of Safety under the Act – ever! The legal amendment in s81 PaCA on this is a simple one: the MHA will read, “A child may not, in the exercise of…
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