Giving back to the community

Appropriate Adult

An Appropriate Adult is an independent support service for any vulnerable adult who comes into contact with the Criminal Justice System, whether as an alleged offender, victim or witness of a crime.

Appoint Us currently offer a 24 hour on call service (outside of office hours please call 024 7621 4420) for people in the Coventry and Warwickshire area needing an Appropriate Adult to support them.

Appoint Us can provide pre-booked Appropriate Adult Services in other areas of the country. Our staff are all DBS or CRB checked and are PACE trained. They are experienced in working with people with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health issues.

The Appropriate Adult role was created by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 with the intention of safeguarding the rights and welfare of vulnerable young people and adults in police custody. When someone is arrested and taken to a police station it is the responsibility of the custody officer (usually a police sergeant) to identify if the person is vulnerable.

Those considered to be vulnerable are anyone who is, or appears to the custody officer, to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be aged under 17 years.
  • Have mental health difficulties.
  • Have a learning disability or difficulty communicating and understanding things.

If the custody officer considers someone to be vulnerable he or she has a duty to request the attendance of an Appropriate Adult. Further interviews with the person in custody cannot go ahead without an Appropriate Adult present.

The role of the Appropriate Adult is to provide:

  • Support and advice to the vulnerable person.
  • Facilitate communication between the vulnerable person and the police.

An Appropriate Adult is different to a Solicitor and does not give legal advice. An Appropriate Adult can be a family member, friend or a volunteer or social/health care professional.

Our service can be for an individual or through Service Level Agreements with professionals such as local authorities or health services. We also provide services to the Police, DWP and Benefit Staff for Interviews Under Caution (IUC).