Explanatory Memorandum

Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

2016 CHAPTER 18

9 May 2016

Commentary on Sections

Part 9 – Power of Police to Remove Person to Place of Safety

Section 143 - Power to detain in police station a person removed from a public place

This section provides that, when the “detention conditions” provided for by section 144 are met, a person removed from a public place may be detained in a police station. The purpose of the detention is to enable the person to be examined by a medical practitioner and interviewed by an approved social worker, and to prevent physical or psychological harm to that person or other people, whilst any necessary arrangements are made for the person’s care or treatment at another location.

The person can only be detained if the constable reasonably believes that the “detention conditions” set out at section 144 are met, and if any of these conditions are no longer met at any time the person then must be discharged. Any period of detention can only last for a maximum of 24 hours beginning with the time of removal.