Mental Health Cop

This is one of those posts I’ve done before but I’m now writing again in a different way because it just keeps on happening. In the last weeks and months I’ve heard police officers say countless times that someone had become ‘sectioned’ when they absolutely had not! Hardly a grave matter, except where this misunderstanding is then the basis for what are sometimes protracted, illegal detentions in custody —

  • When some enters custody and detention is authorised, they remain in custody subject to the timescales and caveats of their original grounds for detention until any Mental Health Act application is made.
  • Someone becomes ‘sectioned’ (informal language, not a legal term) when an application is made to the hospital for their admission under whichever section of the Act – usually s2, 3 but it could less occasionally be s4.
  • Strictly speaking, the person is not even ‘sectioned’ at that point –…

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