An Appropriate Adult is someone who supports a vulnerable detainee when they are being interviewed by the police. The role is set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. KAG provides an
Appropriate Adult service for vulnerable adults at Kingston Police Custody Suite with a rota of trained volunteers under the supervision of a KAG co-ordinator.
Trained volunteers are made available through KAG to any adult arrested by the police and taken to Kingston custody who are deemed vulnerable and do not have the support of an appropriate family member, social worker or friend.
For information about becoming a volunteer Appropriate Adult click here
When a person who has been arrested is deemed to be vulnerable an Appropriate Adult has to be present while they are interviewed by the police.
Vulnerable people include those who have a mental health problem, a learning disability, difficulty reading or writing, visual impairment, or juveniles up to the age of 17.
After some sessions to prepare for the role, volunteers join a rota, to be available when required.
When the usual type of Appropriate Adult - a parent, relative, social worker or another adult important in the detainee's life - is not available for a vulnerable detainee, the volunteer on the rota that day is called to attend the police station.
As an Appropriate Adult (AA) your role is to support the detainee, helping them to understand what is happening and to communicate with the police. (You do not provide legal advice and you are not expected to discuss the alleged offence.)
In general outline, before a detainee is interviewed, the AA will meet the Custody Officer, check the custody record, liaise with the solicitor, meet the detainee and ensure he or she understands the procedures, and that they are fit to be interviewed. During the interview the AA considers whether the detainee is able to answer the questions and whether the interview is being conducted fairly. After the interview the AA is present when the next course of action is being explained, to ensure the detainee understands fully what is happening, whether they are being charged or released, and what they may need to do next.
Find out how by contacting us at:
KAG Advocacy CIO
50 Canbury Park Road
Kingston Upon Thames
Tel: 020 8549 1028
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