After five-year climb, Vancouver police see small drop in Mental Health Act detentions (Thomas Kerr, B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS)

During the first half of 2015, the Vancouver Police Department saw a slight decline in the number of apprehensions its officers made under the B.C. Mental Health Act.

From January to the end of June, officers detained 1,510 people under Section 28 of the act, which allows police to take custody of an individual deemed mentally unfit and a threat to themselves or others.

In February 2015, UBC associate professor Thomas Kerrcoauthored a paper that raised questions about the VPD’s frequent application of the Mental Health Act. “The VPD reports contribute to a widening net of social control, rather than to the betterment of the lives of people living with mental illness,” that paper concludes.

Travis Lupick reports

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