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The appropriate adult is expected to be an active participant and their activities include: 

 “...the appropriate adult is expected, amongst other things, to: support, advise and assist them when, in accordance with this Code or any other Code of Practice, they are given or asked to provide information or participate in any procedure;
Code C 1.7A (July 2018)”.

AAs cannot give legal advice. However, in relation to information and procedures, they have a role in helping vulnerable suspects to:

  • understand their rights;
  • use their rights;
  • participate effectively.

This involves: 

  • checking whether a person understands the meaning and significance of information provided to them;
  • checking whether a person understands the meaning and significance of questions asked of them, and their own replies, including when they are asked to give their consent to procedures;
  • helping a person to understand the meaning and significance of information and questions; 
  • providing general, non-legal, advice about custody procedures and their rights, including on the scope and limit of the AA role vs accessing legal advice.

Where the suspect is a child or vulnerable person, PACE requires the presence of an AA for many procedures

on Thursday December 07 by chrisbath
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 “...the appropriate adult is expected, amongst other things, to: observe whether the police are acting properly and fairly to respect their rights and entitlements, and inform an officer of the rank of inspector or above if they consider that they are not;"
Code C 1.7A (July 2018)”.

AAs have a role in:

  • ensuring police are treating a person in compliance with their rights and entitlements;
  • observing whether a person’s condition/state has deteriorated or otherwise changed;
  • escalting issues that have not been resolved by investigating officers, detention officers or custody sergeant to higher ranked officers;
  • ensuring any issues are recorded on the interview and/or custody record so that this information is available to courts.
on Thursday December 07 by chrisbath
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 “...the appropriate adult is expected, amongst other things, to: assist them to communicate with the police whilst respecting their right to say nothing unless they want to as set out in the terms of the caution;"
Code C 1.7A (July 2018)”.

AAs have a role in:

  • helping people to understand, and be understood, when they are detained or questioned. 

AAs may not:

  • assist the interviewer in getting information or confessions that the person does not wish to give. The AA role was developed as a safeguard in response to concerns about false confessions. If the AA acts as an 'agent of the interrogation', they are not be independent of the police and courts are likely to question the reliability of evidence gained.
  • be able to meet very significant speech, language and communication needs. In some cases it may be neccessary to appoint a qualified professional (e.g. an intermediary) to conduct a formal assessment and potentially provide additional support with communication. 
on Wednesday December 05 by chrisbath
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 “...the appropriate adult is expected, amongst other things, to: help them to understand their rights and ensure that those rights are protected and respected."
Code C 1.7A (July 2018)”.

AAs have a role in:

  • checking that people understand their rights, entitlements and the caution, including by asking them questions to test understanding;
  • asking police officers to provide further explanation where required;
  • providing information or explanations about rights, entitlements and the caution;
  • talking to people who waive their right to free legal advice about any misconceptions they may have;
  • requiring a solicitor to attend where they believe it to be in the best interests of a vulnerable suspect; 
  • intervening in interviews to protect rights;
  • making representations in relation to rights, such as during reviews of detention; 
  • engaging with police, lawyers and medical professionals in the interests of protecting a person's rights.
on Thursday December 07 by chrisbath
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