Appropriate Adult Scheme
The Appropriate Adult Scheme provides immediate and independent support to vulnerable adults who've been detained or interviewed by police. Working alongside Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Brandon Trust is now involved with the project and we need more volunteers.
We believe that this scheme can help reduce unnecessary delays for people in custody. Delays could, in some instances, cause detainees to be unnecessarily stressed. By providing trained Appropriate Adults (AAs), Brandon Trust can ensure all requirements of PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) are fulfilled. Without such a service, vulnerable people would have little support.
You have to be over 18-years-old to be an Appropriate Adult and we're covering the police centres in Keynsham (B&NES) and Patchway (Bristol).
Appropriate Adult Scheme Administrator Alaina Duckett explains:
"Volunteers are required to be called on, sometimes at short notice, to attend a police centre to act as an Appropriate Adult for a vulnerable person who's been arrested.
"You are not simply an observer. The AAs main role is to support the detainee, ensuring they understand what's happening at the police centre, and during subsequent police interviews and investigative stages. The AA communicates with the person arrested to ensure they understand their rights and what's happening whilst they are detained in custody. It's the AAs role to ensure the detainee is treated fairly and that the police respect their rights. They also help with communication between the detainee, police and other parties.
"We're looking to recruit as many volunteers as possible. Full training and support will be given. The role suits a range of people. We have Appropriate Adult volunteers from different walks of life; people with different experiences and backgrounds, including health and social care, driving instructors, former police personnel, retired people and people currently at college or university. They are part of our highly skilled, committed and friendly team, often volunteering in complicated and stressful situations.
The Appropriate Adult volunteer does not need to be a whiz on law. AAs do not give any legal advice; they are there to ensure the detained person is treated fairly. An AA could be someone passionate about equal rights or supporting vulnerable people, some of who may have learning disabilities."
For more information on how to get involved, contact Alaina on:
0117 934 1525
We're members of NAAN (National Appropriate Adult Network) which enables us to keep up to date with any legislation changes or practices.
For more information on the Appropriate Adult role, please visit the network's website www.appropriateadult.org.uk.