It is a requirement of PACE that custody officers inform the AA as soon as practicable when authorising the detention of a child or vulnerable adult.
As a minimum, AAs must be readily available for the PACE procedures for which they are required. AAs have a role throughout a detention episode, from rights and entitlements to charge and bail. However, the precise rules on involvement and physical presence are complicated and spread throughout the PACE Codes. The main elements are summarised below.
It is not mandatory for the AA to be physically present (though in some cases this might be more effective). Representations can be made in person, phone or electronic device. Police must make reasonable efforts to give AA notice of the time of the review. (Code C 15.2A(c), 15.3, 15CA)
Police must give the AA sufficient notice of the decision about whether a person should be charged so that the AA can be present. If they are present at the station, the AA must be present for any action resulting from the decision as to whether to charge. However, police cannot keep a person detained to wait for an AA. (Code C 16.1, 16C, Annex E 1)