Home Department written question – answered on 24th February 2005.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Shadow Minister (Europe)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his Department's answer of 15 December 2004, Official Report, column 1182W, on police divisions, what progress he has made in ensuring that (a) Trafford police division and (b) other police divisions have a suitable place of safety as defined by the Mental Health Act 1983.

Photo of Hazel Blears Hazel Blears Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Security and Community Safety), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Further to my reply to the hon. Member's question of 15 December 2004, Trafford police division advises that they are meeting with representatives of the local primary health care trust on 22 February to discuss the provision of a designated place of safety in the division. The appropriate provision and location of a place of safety is a matter for local agreement between the police and the local trust.

Home Office are continuing discussions with colleagues in the Department of Health on the potential content of codes of practice proposed under the draft Mental Health Bill. The Bill was published on 8 September 2004 by the Department of Health and is currently under scrutiny by the Joint Committee on the draft Mental Health Bill. As indicated in my previous answer, we are looking to establish the statutory position whereby police stations can be used as places of safety only as a last resort and, if used for that purpose, for a limited time period only before transfer to a more appropriate environment.

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