Explains when you may have contact with the police, what happens if you are arrested and what your rights are if you are taken to the police station.
The investigation could finish without you being charged, in one of the following ways:
While police are investigating the case, but before they have charged you with an offence, one of the following things might happen:
After investigating the case the police and the Crown Prosecution will decide whether to charge you with an offence.
For information what happens after you are charged see our legal pages on mental health and the courts.
Harry is a 68 year old with no previous history of mental health problems and no criminal history. He was arrested for assaulting a stranger.
At the police station he was assessed by the appropriate healthcare practitioner (AHCP). The AHCP raised concerns but thought he was well enough to be interviewed and kept in a police cell. The custody sergeant spoke to the liaison and diversion team who carried out a Mental Health Act assessment, and he was detained under section 2 for assessment. He was diagnosed with dementia with psychotic symptoms.
In light of him being sectioned he was not interviewed, and the police decided to take no further action in relation to the assault. His local community mental health team (CMHT) provided support once he was discharged into the community.
Liaison and Diversion services identify people who have mental health problems, a learning disability, substance misuse or other vulnerabilities when they first come into contact with the criminal justice system as suspects, defendants or offenders.
You should be assessed by someone from this service, who will:
This is the term used for the medical professional who is called to the police station if you need medical assessment or treatment.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in November 2017. We will revise it in 2019.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.