Mentally ill children in custody

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Reference: 
2015/2501
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

On August 25th The Times reported that three mentally ill children are being locked in police custody cells every week after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act due to the lack of available beds in the health services.  How many under-18s sectioned under the Mental Health Act have been held by the MPS in the last four years?  Please provide a total figure and a breakdown by year and by borough.

Answer

Answer for Mentally ill children in custody

Answer for Mentally ill children in custody

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Metropolitan Police Service has been maintaining comprehensive records of all police detentions under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act since 1 January 2013.

In 2013 and 2014 there were no instances of under-18s detained in a police cell under Section 136.

This year (January 2015 to date) there has been one instance of an under-18 detained in a police cell under Section 136.  This was due to there being no available Health-based Places of Safety and the person was held in Southwark Custody Suite for their own safety for a period of two hours while one was sought.