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Can the police take a person to a hospital for a psychiatric examination?

An officer can take a person into custody and take them to a hospital for a psychiatric examination if the officer believes that:

  1. The person has a mental disorder; and
  2. They are acting in a disorderly manner involving violence or athreat of violence to themselves or another person; and
  3. The person’s mental disorder is likely to cause them to harm themselves or another person. Sometimes an officer will take the person to the hospital instead of charging them with a criminal offence (if they have grounds to do so).

The police can also take a person for a psychiatric examination if they have an order signed by a doctor or a justice of the peace. These orders must have been signed within seven days of the date the police take the person to the hospital. These assessments are called “Form 1” (signed by a doctor) or “Form 2” (signed by a justice of the peace) assessments.