Christchurch Police station New Zealand
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The New Zealand police have statutory powers conferred upon them under the Mental Health (C.A.T.) Act 1992 ("the MHA") which appear repugnant to human rights. Extensive powers exist in section 122B in relation to an emergency. In an "emergency"(not defined in the MHA) the police may use '... such force as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances' (s.122B(1)) to take or retake a person, proposed patient, or patient (see s.122B(2)(a) MHA): to detain a person, proposed patient, or patient (see s.122B(2)(b)MHA); and to enter premises (see s.122B(2)(c) MHA).
The police have statutory power to use force against the innocent – this is chronic. Those in the mental heath system face enough discrimination and violation without being subject to police use of force against them. Notwithstanding the fact these powers are confined to "emergency" situations it is still barbaric, as many so -called patients are unable to formulate the necessary mental element essential for criminal liability. This is yet another example of Parliament empowering the police to use force against those who may be completely innocent. Read more about use of force in mental health at this site.