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Detained Under S136 MHA (1212A/20)

Request

Please could you endeavour to answer the following questions within 20 working days, as specified under its clauses:

Between 1 April and 1 December 2020, how many people were detained by your police force under (Section 136) of the mental health act?

Between 1 April and 1 December 2019, how many people were detained by your police force under (Section 136) of the mental health act?

Between 1 April and 1 December 2018, how many people were detained by your police force under (Section 136) of the mental health act?

CLARIFICATION

I want to clarify by saying: in relation to “detained” I meant both people detained at a police station and those detained using the 136 powers but taken to another place of safety. It would be ideal if you could provide a figure for people detained by your officers at a police station, and a separate figure for those detained at another place of safety – and specify where (such as in A&E) if time allows

Response

Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.

REASON FOR DECISION

Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  We do not have accessible records for detainees being taken to ‘places of safety’. A mental health assessment would be conducted in custody and we would need to conduct a manual search of the relevant records in order to locate and retrieve this information, this would exceed the FOI time limit.

The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

Attachments

1212A_ATTACHMENT_01