Mental Health S136 - detained

Reference Number: 


Request Date: 

Tuesday, 15 August, 2017

Response Date: 

Monday, 4 September, 2017

Request Details: 


Please ignore my previous request. Please tell me for each of the following financial years a) 2011/12 b) 2012/13 c) 2013/14 d) 2014/15 e) 2015/16 f) 2016/17 YTD I would like to know how many officers have been forced to take in mental health patients due to a lack of beds at a local hospital. Not detained


Let me rephrase.

If I could have the number of instances where a person detained under s136 of the MHA may have been taken to police custody, rather than to another place of safety – e.g. a hospital.

This would also include them being able to stay/sleep on all police premises, stations, cars or custody cells not under caution.

Exemptions Applied: 


Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

SYP Response: 


Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires South Yorkshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt), to provide you the applicant with a notice which:

a.states that fact,

b.specifies the exemption in question and

c.states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

The following exemption applies to the disclosure of the information:

Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

I am unaware of any such systems for recording the instances you describe, short of making enquiries with every Officer.

In an effort to provide some meaningful data, I contacted our Custody Handling System (CHS) Administrator for assistance with your request. She advised:

The Custody Handling System cannot electronically answer this question, if there were no beds and detention was a last resort it would be possibly recorded on the PACE record.

I have extracted the data from Custody Handling System for persons actually detained within a Custody suite (regardless of initial circumstances) no other locations can be identified within this system if not booked in.

The data is based on the offence being *Free Text for Place of Safety* and the reason for arrest containing any reference to Section 136 / Mental Health Act.

She has supplied me with the following figures:

2013/14 = 179

2014/15 = 140

2015/16 = 85

2016/17 = 41

Please note this is only for individuals being booked into custody only where the reason is *free text for place of safety* to locate, retrieve and manually review each record would easily exceed the Appropriate Limit.

The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 provide that the cost limit for non-central government public authorities is £450. This must be calculated at the rate of £25 per hour, providing an effective time limit of 18 hours.

Guidance from the Information Commissioner to public authorities is that where one part of a request is reasonably estimated to exceed the appropriate limit then the authority is not obliged to consider or comply with the remainder of the request up to the point at which the appropriate limit has been reached. Please note point 30 of the below link:-




FOI Category: