Controversial proposals to detain 'dangerous people with severe personality disorder' have received tentative support from the Commons home affairs committee.

Consultation on the proposals - which could see those diagnosed as dangerous people with severe personality disorder locked up indefinitely whether or not they had committed a crime - ended in December.

This week the select committee supported the concept, but warned that it would be 'exceptionally difficult' to identify cases where people's disorders were 'untreatable' (and outside the remit of current mental health law) and they were deemed to be a potential danger.

It also highlighted the need for 'substantial initial expenditure' to manage services for people with severe personality disorders, a cost 'which in the interests of public safety, we believe to be justified'.

The committee said orders should only apply to those 'almost certain to commit a very serious criminal offence', and checks and balances with assessment and judicial review were needed.

Managing Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder.

www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cm haff.htm