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This is when a court-appointed Sheriff gives permission for the the council to take further action to help them serve the best interests of the adult. There are three different types of Protection Order:

Removal Orders

If a council feels that a person is at serious risk of harm in the place they are living, they can ask the sheriff to allow to take them to a place of safety.

Protection orders provide the adult with a legal mechanism to help them protect themselves. In the majority of instances the person has to consent to the Local Authority applying for an order. The sheriff must not make a protection order if they know that the adult at risk has refused to consent to it. The sheriff can only ignore that refusal if he or she believes the adult has been unduly pressurised by someone else to refuse. In cases where the adult does not have the capacity to consent, the requirement to prove undue pressure does not apply.

How long do removal orders last?

An adult can be removed for a maximum of 7 days. If anything significant changes or new facts come to light the Sheriff can change the terms of the Removal Order.

Can the council stop the adult seeing other people during this time?

Not unless it is specified in the removal order.

Where is the person taken to?

The council has to identify somewhere appropriate and specify this in the application for the removal order. It may not necessarily be a care setting; it may be requested that the adult stays with a relative for the duration of the order.

What support is available?

Whatever is needed. For example, if the adult needs help to dress or to prepare meals, the council must provide the relevant support services.

Can the adult refuse to stay somewhere they don't want to?

The order doesn’t give any authority to detain the adult. If they don’t want to stay, they are free to leave. In cases where the adult refuses but lacks capacity, the council will consider whether the use of adults with incapacity or mental health legislation is appropriate.

Banning Orders

A local council can ask a sheriff to ban someone from a place if they think that the person at risk.

How long do banning orders last?

Banning Orders can last up to 6 months and are only granted if it’s in the interest of safety of all concerned.  

How flexible are banning orders?

The Sheriff can require or authorise any person to do, or to refrain from doing, anything else which is necessary for the proper enforcement of the order.

What happens if someone breaches a banning order?

Breaching a Banning is not, in itself, a crime in law. However, what’s called a civil action may be raised which could result in the subject of the order being held in contempt of court. Banning orders can also be issued with the power of arrest attached to them.

Also, any actions which happen as a result, for example a breach of the peace or assault, may be dealt with as criminal offences.

Assessment Orders

This allows the local authority to take the adult to a place where a social worker can conduct a private interview. This is for a maximum of seven days. Some Assessment Orders may require the person to be evaluated by a medical professional such as a GP, nurse or psychiatrist.

Are you (or someone you know) at risk of being harmed?

Help is available