A criminal use of police cells? The use of police custody as a place of safety for people with mental health needs
The police have powers under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to take individuals who are suffering from mental health issues in a public place to a ‘place of safety’ for their protection, and so they can be medically assessed.
This review examines the extent to which police custody is used as a place of safety under section 136; and identifies the factors which either enable or inhibit the acceptance of those detained under section 136 into a preferred place of safety, such as a hospital or other medical facility.
The joint inspection was carried out by HMIC, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, the Care Quality Commission and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.