Police force figures collated and published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council indicate that police cells in England and Wales were used as places of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 a total of 2,100 times in 2015/16 – a 54 per cent reduction on the previous year.
In addition, in 2015/16 the Home Office requested trial data from police forces in England and Wales on the use of section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, including more detailed information about the people detained and to what place of safety they were subsequently taken. 15 forces voluntarily submitted data in response to the pilot data collection.
On the basis of these data, the Home Office published experimental statistics to give an indicative picture of the proportion of instances where a police cell was used as a place of safety following detention under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. These data can be found in Annex B of the statistical publication ‘Police powers and procedures’: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2016