An English man’s home is no longer his castle from Monday 11th December.
This historic bastion of common law refuge is weakened by Mental Health Act 2017 amendments.
As police can enter anyone’s home, be it tent or shed, and search for and remove an occupier to ‘a place of safety’ and provide any enforced ‘treatment’, if they suspect he is ‘ suffering from a mental disorder.
And he can then be detained interminably under the MHA or MCA .
This may seem beyond belief but it is terrifyingly true.
It gives the Nanny State and private mental health services the ultimate power.
The Mental Health Act s135 allows such an ultimate, disproportionate interference with a person’s human rights- the removal of his legal competence ,
‘with a warrant’ obtained form a magistrate without notice, if there
‘is reasonable cause to suspect that a person believed to be suffering from mental disorder’.
or ‘Is or has been, or is being, ill-treated, neglected
or kept otherwise than under proper control, in any place
or unable to care for himself is living alone ‘.
Police can however, enter any building, if not a place where the person usually resides or any public building or indeed have the power in any public area- street, park, bus, train, school Without a warrant.
under the amended s136 to detain a person for mental assessment as it states;
s136 (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.
So now, if a constable sees an adult or child behaving, as if they have a ‘mental disorder’ in a public place, and ‘feels it necessary’ in their interests, or of those around them, the police can remove that person and detain him at a ‘place of safety’ for assessment.
Warrants to enter and remove from a person’s own house, are now easier to obtain, on the evidence of ‘an approved healthcare professional’ which is very widely defined under s 135 .
Section 135 – Warrant to search for and remove patients.
(1) If it appears to a justice of the peace, on information on oath laid by an approved mental health professional, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person believed to be suffering from mental disorder—
Note a ‘mental disorder’, we have 375 to choose from, need not actually be proved.
It is enough, if ”an approved mental health professional’, a vague term, which I assume could be anyone- paid carer, nurse with ‘mental health training’, again an unknown quantity, merely ‘suspects’, and it ‘appears’ to the Justice that this is the case.
So, effectively anyone ( who has had any ‘training’ in the vague term of ‘mental health’)
On virtually nothing (what is a mental disorder ? These are conduct disorders as what else is being assessed. So are social conduct is being controlled, and can lose us our liberty and legal competency. Who is trained sufficiently to suspect a person has one and how ?)
Can obtain a warrant, if it merely ‘appears’ to a single magistrate without a hearing,to enter anyone’s house and remove them, or a person living there, be they under or over 18, assess them, forcefully medicate them, and detain for as long as, now mainly private NHS mental services, want.
If the poor unsuspecting wretch tries to escape during any part of his encagement process, including from any place of safety hospital, he can be ‘retaken’ into custody under s138.
These powers also apply to children defined as under 18 and override parental decisions and control over their own childrens treatment and place of residence.
An order under the Mental Capacity Act from the Court of Protection or an emergency care order if under 18 had to be obtained first but not anymore.
Worse still, this is in a country where mental services and hospitals are monopolies, owned by venture capitalists and run for maximum profit like Cygnet, Cambian and Acadia .
The Home Office and Department of Health ran a year-long consultation in 2014, but strangely, some might say it was because the private provision infrastructure was not yet in place, the Bill did not receive Royal Assent until 2017.
But despite the seismic affect of this law, it has received no press or media coverage.
Here is an official summary of the changes and shows that the system in policing Triages set up throughout the country already operating s136 pathways.
Many MPs and Lords made various amendments, but one by one these were either defeated or withdrawn, and few amendments were actually made to the House of Commons draft of 2014.
800 years after the Magna Carta, anyone, including a child can be picked up in the street or shops, imprisoned, assessed and medicated, if it appears to a police person he is suffering from a mental disorder and needs care or control.
Anyone can be removed from their own home by force on the say so of any mental health worker employed by private corporations paid £13,000 a week guaranteed public money to ‘stabalise’ and detain him indeterminably.
A very dangerous audacious law, without any very necessary safeguards, that the public won’t know about until it is too late.
And who will remove a person from their ‘place of safety’ where not even deaths are investigated ?
There are no checks on now mainly private mental services and no one can complain or it would appear escape from their hospitals and enforced medication.
Even if a person has been forced out of their home, once out for example in police custody they may be detained for MHA against their will under s136
There is no requirement (anymore) to ‘find’ the person in a place to which the public have access. It’s now just about where the power was used.
Comments on net june 2018
Is it just me or is it a reality that the number of s136’s has rapidly increased since the changes in the law….. and that some people are put onto s136 who really don’t need to be- they would happily have gone to A&E and, in fact, did, but where put on s136. Then there are the people who have no Mental illness (I know the police aren’t mental health experts but…) and yet are placed on s136. It feels like the increase is great…… any figures on this?
When and does s136 detainment even end ?
Hi, a recent dilemma came to my attention, and leads me to ask opinions has to when a S136 comes to an end. P is brought to hospital under S136, is assessed by 2 doctors and an AMHP and a joint medical recommendation for S2 completed. Before the AMHP makes the application P confesses they have taken a substantive overdose that requires urgent medical attention. P is transported to medical hospital under S136 and the standing S136 is extended by the consultant psychiatrist. I questioned the legality of this action, as it is my understanding under S136(2a) that the purpose is to remove to a place of safety where P can be assessed and that when a decision is made to detain P becomes liable to be detained and therefore should have been detained before removal to hospital. One challenge of my hypothesises was Jones: “the person can be detained for the purpose of being examined by a doctor and interviewed by an AMHP in order that suitable arrangements can be made for his treatment or care. It is therefore the case that the detention can continue after the assessment has been completed until such time, within the permitted period, that the necessary arrangements have been put in place. The authority to detain under this section ends immediately if the doctor’s assessment leads her to conclude that the person is not mentally disordered. “… Any thoughts about this?
Recent comment on 136 april 2019
I notice when the police started using s136 in police custody on people who had originally been arrested for an offence but who were due to be diverted under the MHA after being ‘sectioned’ that a large number of AMHPs were writing in to police forces or giving feedback that you can’t use s136 after the assessment because s136(2) makes it clear that the purpose of s136 itself is to remove ‘for assessment AND arrangements’.
It was interestigng to be patronised out of various discussions arising from this point when I gave a hypothetical situation that looked remarkably to this one, as evidence of why AMHPs would be screaming for s136 after assessment if the circumstances suited them to call for it — it’s nice to see this thread vindicating the point I made but it’s still interesting how legal answers to legal questions often change depending on whether the implication of the answer in some people’s professionals interests or not.
Sorry, folks – I’ll admit to being fairly furious about the overall situation and how my colleagues are drawn in to this and often blamed when it goes wrong.
It’s compromising public safety in my view as well and it can’t continue.