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Detainees: Mentally Ill

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people detained in a place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 were held in police cells in each of the last five years; (258341)

(2) how many people were detained in a place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in each of the last five years.

I have been asked to reply.

Comprehensive national information on the number of people detained in a place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 is not available.

Statistics are published by the Information Centre for health and social care on detentions under section 136 in hospitals in England and by the Welsh Assembly Government on detentions under that section in mental health facilities in Wales. Information on the number of such detentions is shown in the following table.

Number of detentions under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in hospitals in England and in mental health facilities in Wales, 2003-04 to 2007-08

Number of detentions

England

Wales

2003-04

4,106

239

2004-05

4,765

217

2005-06

5,495

263

2006-07

6,004

316

2007-08

7,035

355

Sources:

1. In-patients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and other legislation, England: 1997-98 to 2007-08, Information Centre for Health and Social Care, October 2008;

2 Admission of patients to mental health facilities in Wales (Including patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983), Statistical Release 167/2008, Welsh Assembly Government, October 2008.

Equivalent information about detentions in police custody is not available. Research by the Independent Police Complaints Commission estimated that a total of 11,517 people were detained in police stations in England and Wales under section 136 in 2005-06.