Can the police use s136 again following a persons escape from legal custody if they have escaped from a HBPoS? s138 provides for the person to be retaken before the end of the relevant period, however, what happens when that period ends and the person is in a public place? Does its use depend on the outcome of an assessment that may or may not have concluded?
Can the police use s136 again following a persons escape from legal custody if they have escaped from a HBPoS?
As long as the grounds for use of s136 are met on the second encounter, I don’t see why not - s138 no longer being an option, it would depend on the officer feeling the criteria for s136 were actually met.
Does its use depend on the outcome of an assessment that may or may not have concluded?
Not exactly sure what you mean here, but I would say not - if the escape occurred during or after MHA assessment, it would be an option for the AMHP to say something that may be relevant such as “assessment indicates s2 admission but they absconded before that an application could be made”. If an MHAA had concluded that admission was not required, it may invite questions if the officer did detain s136 because we could questions the point of it, but as long as the officer thought the grounds existed, I don’t see a barrier to if someone is in immediate need and especially if that are at imminent risk of life-altering / life-threatening decisions.
Worth noting: some advice has suggested that use of s136 after a MHAA is unlawful. It’s not obvious to me that this must be correct because there are a number of high-risk incidents that have occurred in reality and someone fleeing after MHAA or whilst frustrated waiting for a bed, has been amongst the examples. I’m also aware of advice that contradicts this claim, so take your pick!
In short, if criteria is s136(1) are satisfied because of the “immediate need”, I don’t think the police can be criticised for acting to safeguard someone who is at risk.