There to Help

Home Secretary's Commission 2015

There to Help: Ensuring provision of appropriate adults for mentally vulnerable adults detained or interviewed by police

In January 2015, the Home Secretary Theresa May commissioned NAAN to determine where the problems lie with the availabilty of appropriate adults for adults who are mentally vulnerable. NAAN selected the Institute for Criminal Policy Research as academic research partners.

This report is part of the #ThereToHelp project which seeks to ensure all adults who are mentally vulnerable receive the support of an appropriate adult when detained or questioned by police.

Response from Home Secretary Theresa May MP

“Appropriate adults provide vital support and help to de-mystify what can be a confusing, sometimes frightening, experience in police custody. Evidence suggests there is a lack of appropriate adults to safeguard the welfare and rights of mentally vulnerable adults in police custody. That is why I commissioned this review to determine where the problems lie. The status quo is not acceptable and I am concerned that vulnerable adults are not always receiving the support of an appropriate adult. We are currently examining the recommendations and implementation options to ensure that vulnerable people are provided with the support they are entitled to."


There to Help (Full report - 88 pages)

Executive summary (Findings and recommendations only - 2 pages)

Main report (19 pages)

Supporting papers

A - Literature review

B - Legislation review

C - Case law review

D - Results: police force data, AA scheme survey and the Liaison & Diversion Programme

E - Results: custody sergeant survey

F - Results: interviews of strategic stakeholders

G - Results: discussions with people with mental vulnerabilities and experience of the justice system

H - Analysis of costs 

I - Analysis of AA role as described by PACE Codes of Practice 


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