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Thoughts on this.....

6 posts in this topic

I'd just be interested to hear others views on this incident....

3/4 months ago a Man is arrested for a Breach of the Peace following calls from neighbours that a male was acting strangely in the street and being aggressive and abusive to anyone who tried to help.

Police arrive to speak with male and try to calm him. He reacts angrily and starts lashing about. Physical contact with 2 officers during this and he is CS sprayed and force is used. There are no visible injuries to the Officers. It then becomes clear there are some severe mental health problems and the person is disassociated and dillusional and thinks he is in contact with the devil and can summon fire and water from the earth.

In custody the male continues to display all these issues and a mental health assessment is completed and he is sectioned from custody.

The evidence review Sergeant has reveiwed the matter and read the mental health assessment and deems that the matter has little or no chance of a successful prosecution due to his state of mind at the time of the incident and has recommended that the matter be NFA'd.

However, other supervision are saying that the defendant needs to be interviewed prior to NFA even though they know the matter will be NFA'd. Stating that it covers any future civil lit as he is interviewed.

I won't post my thoughts, or what Ive done. But what would you do, and what do you think should happen?


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It would be neigh impossible to interview him. Due to him being sectioned.

Very extensive notes need to be made.

To cover officers.

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Agreed. And to interview for what, a BOP? Not necessary surely, just to Court for bind over application.

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I think it would take a brave custody sergeant to keep someone or even reauthorise detention when they return knowing the results of the mental health panel assessment and knowing the NFA decision has already been made.

What would they be able to give as the grouds for authorising detention? The charging decision has been made so the determining if there is sufficient evidence to charge grounds are out. Obtain evedicence by questioning? We have to have some sort of believe that we might be able to obtain this evidence. If someone and I think it is clear from this case you wont.

The interview doesn't really add a lot assist the officers regarding a use of force. That will be lawful or not depending entirely on what they felt at the time of the incident and legally what is said in the defendant's interview should make very little difference. Obviously we would like him on tape saying he intended to hurt the officers but I can't see how we can get him into interiew

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100% NFA

The arrest was disposed of via Section 136. NOD and it was just a BOP in the 1st place...

If someone is so mentally incapable of mens rea at the time (if there had been an offence) that they were sectioned, how on earth can they be IV'd over the incident 1) they prob won't remember the incident and 2) whats the point anyway its disposed of

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Interesting. What was he arrested for? If he was detained - 136 - then no interview. However, was he arrested for assault police x 2? (The scenario seems to suggest that he assaulted two officers). The investigation needs to be concluded, and that may mean NFA - but I believe only with the consent of the two officers who were assaulted (if I've read the scenario properly).

But it is a difficult one - because if he is sectioned, then it's impossible to interview him due to his mental state. But as he was deemed to be sectionable (and in my area, for a person to be sectioned is almost impossible, so he really must have been mentally extremely disturbed), then I think the officers could / would realise it isn't appropriate to try to interview, and therefore NFA is the only decision. As Sammy D mentioned too - mens rea ... needs to be taken account of in the decision making.

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