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Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:44 am on 6th July 2018.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 9:44 am, 6th July 2018

Again, I am very grateful to the Minister for that and for her positive approach to ensuring that the points being raised here and that we raised on Report will be considered for the statutory guidance. We will therefore look forward to seeing it when it is published.

Finally, I wish to refer to clause 12, which deals with video recording and specifically details the police use of body-worn cameras when assisting in restraint at a mental health unit. Largely, police body cameras are used in this instance, unless there are special circumstances. I am a big fan of body-worn cameras, which are a beneficial tool for both officers, protecting them when complaints are made about them, and the public, in making sure that the true facts of a situation are seen by everybody. However, the Bill states that the police

“must take a body camera” and

“must wear it and keep it operating at all times”.

It goes on to state that a “failure” to “comply” makes

“the officer liable to criminal…proceedings.”

As the Minister and the hon. Member for Croydon North know, I feel that that creates a severe disproportion of consequences between the actions of the police and the actions of the medical staff.