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Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice

Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice (4th edn)

Peter Bartlett and Ralph Sandland
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date: 03 October 2023

7. Policing Mental Disorderlocked

7. Policing Mental Disorderlocked

  • Peter BartlettPeter BartlettNottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Professor of Mental Health Law, University of Nottingham
  •  and Ralph SandlandRalph SandlandAssociate Professor in Law, University of Nottingham


This chapter examines the role of the police, both as agents of the criminal justice system and as agents of the mental health system. It discusses the policy of diversion; police encounters with mentally disordered persons; the diversion of mentally disordered criminal suspects into an investigative regime with greater safeguards than are ordinarily implemented; and the meaning of ‘absent without leave’.

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