Developing partnerships


It is important that developers are familiar with the legal framework relating to AAs. Misunderstandings about the statutory duties of potential partners in relation to AAs are common and do not make for good partnership working. Some duties are laid out explicitly in statute, while some are in statutory codes of practice. AAs can support the delivery of statutory duties that don’t explicitly mention them. Legal duties differ significantly in relation to AAs for children versus adults.

It is a statutory requirement that local authorities act, in cooperation with police, PCCs, probation and clinical commissioning groups in their area, to secure the availability of youth justice services, including the provision of appropriate adults[1].

In most areas the framework for this collaboration is the local authority led youth offending team. In some areas, the provision of youth justice services is integrated into mainstream local authority social care / youth services.

on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

There is no explicit statutory duty in relation to AA provision for adults. This is an issue on which NAAN continues to work and latest updates are available here

The key potential partner agencies are:

Home Office Partnership Agreement
In September 2017, the Minister of State for Policing Nick Hurd MP wrote to all Police and Crime Commissioners, setting out the Home Office's vision of a local partnership approach to AA provision, led by local authorities. A local partnership agreement has been published by the Home Office, aimed primarily at Directors of Adult Social Care and Police and Crime Commissioners. This voluntary agreement sets out how adult social care and PCCs can draw on their key strengths to support the development of effective AA provision for adults.

 there are a number of statutory frameworks that could support the development of local partnerships. 

Health and Wellbeing Boards are well-placed to assess the local need for, and support the inclusion of, AA provision in local commissioning plans. AA provision should be integrated with the preparation of the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. This would help ensure the sustainability of AA services at a local level. Police are not statutory partners of these boards but may be invited.

Safeguarding Adults Boards are statutory bodies bringing together local authorities, health and police to help and protect adults where there is reasonable cause to suspect they have needs for care and support and are at risk of abuse or neglect. They share their annual strategies and reports (which are drawn from those of their constituent agencies) with Health and Wellbeing Boards. Safeguarding Adults Boards could provide a framework for local AA partnerships.

Community Safety Partnerships include local authorities, police and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as statutory partners. A local authority must have due regard to the need to, and do all it can to, prevent crime and disorder, re-offending and the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances. All policies, strategies, plans and budgets must therefore be considered with the potential contribution to the above[1].

The Transforming Care programme, which arose out of the abuse at Winterbourne View hospital, has been committed to by a wide range of partners including police, adult social services and health. The Transforming Care and Commissioning Steering Group has recognised how ‘fundamentally important’ the concerns set out in the Bradley Report are to its agenda and encouraged the Government to respond to the recommendations in the recent report ‘The Bradley Report five years on’ which included the need for improvements in adult AA provision and clarity on their funding. Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs) are made up of clinical commissioning groups, NHS England’s specialised commissioners and local authorities. They work with people with a learning disability, autism or both and their families and carers to agree and deliver local plans for the programme.

In England there are 48 TCPs who are changing services in a way that is making a real difference to the lives of local people. This includes making community services better

Whole Place Community Budgets seek to offer a locally-devolved, person-centred approach to public services. This approach identifies fragmented, reactive and acute services; focuses on outcomes over organisational responsibilities; is user focused; and pools or aligns resources to maximise both available funds and provision. The approach relies on access to funding for the up-front costs of transformation but not more money overall. A relevant example is the Better Care Fund which has made £3.8 billion available to be deployed locally on health and social care through pooled budget arrangements.

[1] Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s.5-7, s.17

Also see:

on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

Lived experience

People with lived experience (often referred to as service users) offer developers and commissioners unique insights into what works and what does not.

Ensuring that they are part of the partnership approach throughout the full cycle, from commissioning, to delivery, to monitoring and evaluation, will help to highlight areas for improvement and develop effective solutions.

Broadly, to have the greatest impact, you should be aiming for the following:

  • Professionals and people with lived experience working together in partnerships towards shared goals
  • Involving people in all aspects of the planning, development, delivery and evaluation
  • Increasing equality and power sharing (rather than just basic involvement and participation)
  • Viewing those who use services as assets to be valued, avoiding exclusion by proactively building people’s capacity to be involved (e.g. by explaining things)
  • Reimbursing expenses and recognising that if someone makes a contribution they should get something back
  • Providing clarity from the start about what can and cannot be changed
Example: Leeds YOT Commissioning Team
In 2017, Leeds YOT led an appropriate adult co-commissioning project on behalf of the five local authorities in the West Yorkshire Police force area. As part of the commissioning process, a group of young people with lived experience: 

The young people were part of a pre-existing group that supports commissioning in Leeds, as part of the city's child friendly Leeds intiative

on Friday January 05 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

The ‘ladder of participation’ is a well-known conceptual framework for involving people with lived experience. Information and resources are available online

Other relevant resources include:

Revolving Doors



Professional development videos and presentations (requires membership and to be logged in to NAAN website)

  • Lived experience: Brain injury (Dominic Hurley)
  • Lived experience: A young person's perspective
  • Lived experience: Advice on supporting people with autism (Chris Hilliard)
  • Are we listening? Vulnerable adults' perspectives on appropriate adults (Tricia Jessiman, Bristol University)
  • Why service user involvement? (Paula Harriott)
on Friday January 05 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?


Professionals (providers, commissioners and police) were interviewed. Their responses tended to focus on the following elements of the AA role:

  • Response time and availability
  • Ensuring due process
  • Protecting welfare
  • Emotional support

Two focus groups with then held with adults with lived experience of being a police suspect. One group had experience in the context of having a learning disability, and the other in the context of mental health. Observations included:

  • Many had not been given an AA despite their needs, or had only had one on occasions when the custody sergeant has ‘sympathetic attitude’ towards vulnerability.
  • The AA is a necessary safeguard against the police “putting words in your mouth.”
  • Strong and differing personal views about who should act as their AA, specifically on whether family/professionals should be involved
  • Concerns about confidentiality and information sharing with other agencies such as housing
  • Many felt that support should focus on ensuring understanding of their situation (e.g. rights, detention times, questions being asked) enabling them to manage themselves, while others felt they would still need support with effective communication
  • Respondents’ experience of custody was overwhelmingly negative, and they recalled feeling intimidated, frightened, dehumanised, bullied and isolated. They wanted someone “on my side” and to protect against humiliation. The second most commonly cited support need was for emotional support.
  • Some people wanted engagement with the AA service after custody, either for additional support or for feedback
  • Attributes they wanted in an AA (see lists below) 

Group 1 (mental health)

  • Calm
  • Calming
  • Caring
  • Psychiatric knowledge
  • Gender preference
  • Respectful of race, culture and sexual identity
  • Protective
  • Kind
  • Confident
  • Knows the correct procedures
  • A people person

Group 2 (learning disability)

  • A good listener
  • Good communicator
  • Trained in all aspects of learning disability
  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Caring
  • Gender preference
  • Confidential


Jessiman T, Cameron A. The role of the appropriate adult in supporting vulnerable adults in custody: Comparing the perspectives of service users and service providers. Br J Learn Disabil. 2017;00:1–7.


on Friday January 05 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?


A semi-structured discussion was held with members of the Working for Justice group. Members of the group have learning disabilities, one member has autism and all have been police suspects.

Understanding the AA role

While there was a general understanding that the role of the AA was to ‘help’, this was essentially limited to support with communication in interviews. The AAs purpose was viewed as helping detained people to understand the questions being put to them by the police. Members of the group said:

  • ‘They are there to help me when the questions were difficult’
  • ‘To help stop misunderstandings’
  • ‘To help with communication’
  • ‘So you don’t incriminate [yourself]’.

Experience of support

Four of the six had not been provided with the support of an AA at all despite their needs. Of the two that had, one group member said: ‘They helped to explain the questions.’

Who should be an AA?

Relatives and friends

Service users were asked about the advantages and disadvantages of having a relative or friend as their AA. Moral support was by far the strongest reason for having someone they knew. One group member said: ‘My mam was there; she made sure they asked the right questions.’

A number of downsides were expressed, the most significant being that they would not know what the role involved or ‘how to behave’. However, the issue of potentially complex relationships between people with support needs and their family members was also of importance to the group. There was agreement that there were risks inherent in having previously fallen out with a family member who might then be called or agree to act as your AA. Group members said:

  • ‘What if you don’t have a good relationship with them?’
  • ‘Some people don’t want them to know what’s going on.’
  • ‘What if there are torn loyalties?’
  • ‘They might be judgmental. They are not independent.’
  • ‘It shouldn’t be a family member but it should be someone who knows you.’


NAAN (2015) There to Help: Ensuring provision of appropriate adults for mentally vulnerable adults detained or interviewed by policeThere to Help: Ensuring provision of appropriate adults for mentally vulnerable adults detained or interviewed by police (Paper G)


on Friday January 05 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?


Existing local and national government strategies and structures recognise the interrelationships between social care, health, policing and justice and encourage integration and partnerships as part of a whole systems approach. There is broad support amongst strategic stakeholders and AA schemes for a whole systems approach to appropriate adult provision, recognising outcomes delivered as a shared benefit across local authorities (YOTs/social services), health and policing.  In some areas, this is already the case. 

Organised AA provision for children is usually funded almost entirely by the local youth offending team (YOT). This is because the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 specifies AA provision as one of the youth justice services which a local authority has a statutory duty to provide. 

Depending on the local model, this could be achieved by tasking YOT officers to act as AAs as part of their core role, establishing a volunteer co-ordinator post or funding an external agency. 

In some areas, YOTs within the same police force area co-fund a single scheme. Budget contributions are typically based on police data on the relative number of cases from each YOT area. 

YOTs should provide sufficient funding to ensure provision meets the requirements of their statutory duty, YJB guidance and the National Standards for Youth Justice

However, there is no barrier to other local partners providing additional funding in support of the service. For example:

  • A police and crime commissioner may wish to increase the quality or availability of AAs
  • An integrated health and social care team may recognise the high level of mental health and neurodisabilty amongst children in police custody. 



on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

The lack of an explicit statutory duty to ensure provision of AAs for adults (in contrast to AA provision for children) has resulted in a wide variety of local approaches - both in terms of funding sources and levels of investment. 

Some areas have retained a reliance on social workers to act as AAs. As this is not a dedicated budget line, it is not known how much local authorities are spending on such direct delivery. However, given the estimated costs of social worker time, even a small amount of provision will generate significant (albeit potentially invisible) costs.

Local authority funding for non-statutory services is at significant risk due to overall pressure on budgets. However, research from 2015 indicates that they remain both the most common funder and greatest contributor to dedicated adult AA schemes. Local authorities were found to provide over half of all identifed funding (in addition to unknown spending on social workers).

Chart: Number of services receiving funds from each source [n=23] (There to Help, 2015)

funding source


Chart: Number of services receiving funds from each source [n=23] (There to Help, 2015)

funding percent


Pressure on local authority budgets has, in some areas, led to police taking emergency measures. Direct police contracts and spot-purchasing was significant in 2015 (21.3%). This funding approach is extremely risky for both suspects and police given the legal requirement in PACE that the person acting as AA:

  • must be independent of the police; and 
  • may not be under the control or direction of the chief of police
  • may not be under contractual arrangements with the chief of police. 

PCC funding (2.6%) was similar to historic contributions made by Police Authority funding. However this is likely to  have increased slightly in the two years to 2017 as awareness of the AA provision issue has increased. 

on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

There is currently no central government funding available specifically for AA provision for adults. 

The Home Office has developed a voluntary partnership agreement aimed primarily at directors of adult social care and police and crime commissioners. It does not have additional funding attached or to specify local funding arrangements. This will be evaluated after 6 months and 12 months. 

If the Home Office then decides to create a new statutory duty on local authorities, then under the new burdens doctrine it must provide the associated funding from its own budget. 

on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

The role of appropriate adult is clearly closely aligned with social work and provides for clear independence from the police. 

Social workers were attending police interviews of adults with additional needs even before the advent of PACE. In fact, the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure (1981) suggested, "consideration should be given to placing some obligation on local authorities to make provision for social workers to be always available out of ordinary working hours" for this purpose. 

During the first 10 years of PACE (1985  to 1995), social workers increasingly fulfilled it for adults. From that point, reports from the Home Office and the Audit Commission encouraged local authorities to instead develop volunteer schemes in order to increase availability and decrease costs. At the same time, academic papers also criticised the appropriateness and effectiveness of social workers in the role.  In some areas acting as an AA role continued to be a core part of the social worker's role. However, most areas began to recruit and manage volunteers co-ordinated by an employee or to fund external organisations.  

While 1998 brought a statutory duty on local authorities to ensure AA provision for children, no such explicit duty was ever created in relation to adults. In recent years, increasing budget pressures on local authorities have resulted in the closure of non-statutory services. 

There continue to be many reasons why local authority social care would wish to fund AA provision for adults. At the national level, AA provision contributes to key objectives of the Department for Communities and Local Government, including:-

  • supporting strong communities with excellent public services
  • encouraging integration of services and administration
  • supporting the vulnerable: improve outcomes for families with multiple problems
  • health and social care integration

At the local level, it contributes to

  • ensuring that adults with additional needs are treated fairly by the justice system with respect for their rights and entitlements and can participate effectively
  • supporting adults with care and support needs
  • fulfilling part of their wider adult safeguarding responsibilities 
  • troubled families agenda
  • concerns about demands on social worker and mental health professional's time
  • foster good working relationships with other agencies
  • implementing the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s.5-7 and 17
on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

After the suspect themselves, the lack of an organised AA scheme is perhaps felt most immediately by police force, including:

  • Compliance with PACE Codes, HMICFRS/P and IPCC/IOPC expectations
  • Reduced risk of inadmissible evidence, failed prosecutions, miscarriages of justice and associated financial and reputational costs
  • Reduced risk of self-harm and suicide after police contact
  • Increased efficiency; effectiveness and legitimacy of the police force

In simple terms, without an AA, they cannot progress cases involving adults who require one in a legally compliant manner. Searching for a person to act as AA can take an officer several hours - time that can be better spent when there is access to a reliable AA scheme.

This provides police forces with a strong incentive to contibute funding to an AA scheme. It is not contrary to legislation for police forces to provide funding for AA provision and it is not uncommon for them to do so, often to enhance an existing local authority commissioned service. For example, a force may wish to provide funds to allow an extension of operating hours for and adults AA service.

In some areas, pressures on local authority budgets have meant that non-statutory AA provision (i.e. services for adults) has been cut or is under threat. This has led some forces to consider directly commissioning their own AA services for adults. Such direct, unilateral police force commissioning of AAs would not appear to breach legislation. However, in considering a commissioning framework, local partners may wish to consider the following:

  1. The purpose of AAs and the consequent requirement for independence from police.
  2. The existing PACE Code prohibitions on who may act as an AA 
  3. The Home Office's planned 'partnership agreement' document, which sets out a vision of AA commissioning for adults being led by local authorities in partnership with police and crime commissioners, rather than with police forces 
  4. The Home Office's proposed PACE Code C Note 1F, which reads,  “An appropriate adult who is not a parent or guardian in the case of a juvenile, or a relative, guardian or carer in the case of a vulnerable adult, must be independent of the police as their role is to safeguard the rights and entitlements of a detained person”
  5. The ability under any arrangement of individual police officers being able to select indivdual providers or AAs
on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

Benefits of AA provision

A PCC's interest in AA provision is broadly the same as that of the police force. Access to a reliable AA scheme for adults means: 

  • Compliance with PACE Codes, HMICFRS/P and IPCC/IOPC expectations
  • Reduced risk of inadmissible evidence, failed prosecutions, miscarriages of justice and associated financial and reputational costs
  • Reduced risk of self-harm and suicide after police contact
  • Increased efficiency; effectiveness and legitimacy of the police force

This provides a strong incentive to ensur that AA provision is reliable and easily accessible to police officers when required. 

Statutory duties

The statutory responsibilities of a PCC are focused on the police force for their area. They do not specify the provision of AAs, which by legal definition must be independent of the police force. However, they:

  • control a significant budget for policing
  • are ultimately responsible for polcing effectiveness and efficiency (which are positively impacted by organised AA schemes)
  • have a role in developing and supporting local partnerships and co-operative working, which support integrated working 
  • act at force level, which may include numberous local authorities and clinical commissioning groups

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners states:

"The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.

PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.

PCCs have been elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.

Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:

  • secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
  • appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
  • set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
  • set the force budget and determine the precept;
  • contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
  • bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up."


Unlike health and social care services, PCCs are closely associated with police forces, both in a formal, legal sense and in terms of public perception. The implications of the requirement for an AA to be a person who is independent from police should be carefully considered in relation to PCCs. 

The specific PACE Code C requirements that the person acting as AA may not be under the control or direction of, or contractual arrangements with, the chief of police, do not apply to the PCC because they are not subordinate to the chief constable of their force. This means that PCCs are better placed than police forces to engage in AA funding and commissioning partnerships on behalf of policing. 

However, developers should also consider:-

  • The perceptions of the public;
  • The perceptons of service users and impact on their engagement with AAs;
  • The overall 'spirit' of PACE;
  • The views of individual PCCs.

The Home Office partnership agreement sets out a partnership approach between local authorities and PCCs. The Minister for Policing has expressed the view that AA, "Commissioning and provision across England and Wales is a local authority responsibility and this position should not be altered". At this time, the source of funding has not been specified by Government and this is therefore a matter for local area partners to decide.

Consideration should be given to appropriate governance structures to ensure AA schemes are legally, practically and perceptually independent of the police. This may include: 

  • PCCs retaining funds from their police force to the value which the force currently spends on AAs; and/or
  • PCCs passing over funds to the local authority to carry out a commissioning process.

When considering the issue of independence, control of funding and commissioning is of course a very important factor, though not the only one. Local authority led commissioning is preferred and avoids many concerns. However, it is possible for a local authority commissioned scheme to have issues with independence in practice. PCCs considering commissioning schemes unilaterally are advised to consider the risk of being at least perceived as lacking in independence and consider steps to mitigate that risk

Also see:

on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

In some parts of England, health partners contribute to AA provision for vulnerable adults. This includes contributions from:

  • Mental health trusts (both direct delivery and financial contributions)
  • Clinical commissioning groups (typically via integrated health and social care commissioning
  • NHS England regional funding 

Health is not formally included in the Home Office's voluntary partnership agreement document, which focuses on local authorities and PCCs. However, this in no way presents a barrier to health being included in a local funding partnership. Rationales for health contributions include: 

on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

Given the significant variation across local authority and police force areas, developers are strongly advised to identify and preserve existing funding.

Seek to map existing funding in the local area by: 

  • Identify NAAN-registered AA schemes operating in your area using the NAAN Network Map
  • Asking the police force which organisations are being used to provide AAs in each local authority area within the force area
  • Surveying police officers (at the custody suite level) to ask where they are getting AAs from (note that the answers may not always be the same as the official source)
  • Asking the local authority  (both YOT and social care) if they (a) are providing social workers to act as AAs, (b) employ staff to co-ordinate volunteer AAs, (c) fund an external service
  • Contacting identified AA schemes and request information about current funding (or contact details for their funders)

The goal is to preserve existing funding and work in partnership to enhance it where required. Be aware that taking a thorough and strategic approach can itself present risks to existing provision, particularly in relation to non-statutory provision. When mapping funding be aware that:

  • Some information may be considered commercially sensitive
  • Organisations may be funding services without explicit knowledge (e.g. where police officers are spot-purchasing their own AAs or where funding is historical and senior staff are not aware).
  • There may be overlaps in existing funding
on Friday December 15 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?


As a partnership develops, it will be important to clearly identify and define the expectations placed upon each partner. Each partner will have specific skills, powers and positions which they can contribute. The strategies and actions of partners, particularly the police force, can have a dramatic impact on the AA scheme. Developers should seek to define what is possible and appropriate to expect of each partner. This section provides some suggested expectations.

Leadership and partnerships

  • When developing the local Police and Crime Plan, have regard to the need for appropriate adults for both children and adults (as defined in the PACE Codes) and the nature of current provision
  • Provide the strategic link between partners, including the nomination of a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) on appropriate adults within the office of the PCC to liaise with police leads, local authority, health and other relevant partners.
  • Where a police force area covers multiple local authorities and/or clinical commissioning groups, act as a central convenor of partners.

Assessing need

  • Work with police (both custody and investigations) to understand force needs and operational requirements
  • Ensure that police needs assessments, data capture and data retrieval systems provide accurate information on the level of demand
  • Establish a demand profile to inform local authority or joint commissioning
  • Provide data on current levels, sources and quality of appropriate adults
  • Work with police local partners to estimate demand, ensuring data is fit for purpose

Monitoring and accountability

  • Hold police leaders to account for compliance with PACE (e.g. use of arrest, expediting detention, treatment of suspects, identification of need and timely contacting of AAs)
  • Monitor the percentage of detentions and voluntary interviews that include an AA against benchmark figures (100% for children; 11%-22% for adults)
  • Contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of appropriate adult provision against agreed metrics (e.g. using information Independent Custody Visitors, custody staff and service user groups)
  • Ensure police force responds to relevant findings and recommendations from HM Inspectorates 


on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

Leadership and partnerships

  • Nominate a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) on appropriate adults (or one each for children and adults) to ensure regular and effective communication with the office of the PCC, police leads, health and other relevant partners and to develop a shared understanding of respective roles and responsibilities
  • Work in collaboration with the PCC, health and other partners to determine the best approach to ensure sustainable, high quality AA provision in the local area, using existing frameworks (e.g. Safeguarding Boards, Health and Wellbeing Boards)
  • In partnership with the PCC, collaborate with service users (and potential service users) in the commissioning, delivery and monitoring cycle

Assessing need

  • Assess the prevalence of need drawing on data from local authority services, public heath data and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and taking account of the PACE Code C threshold/definition in relation to adults.  
  • Factor in data and analysis of force needs provided by the PCC/police force
  • Collaborate with local statutory and community groups supporting children and adults with relevant conditions and needs


  • Ensure the provision of persons to act as AAs to safeguard the interests of children and young persons detained or questioned by police officers (as required by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998)
  • Lead on the process of provision or commissioning AA services for adults, choosing approaches that deliver efficient and effective appropriate adult provision, reducing instances of non-availability and delay and ensuring high quality provision that meets the needs of children and adults

Monitoring and accountability

  • Require monitoring information (output, outcomes, quality) from relevant team or commissioned providers
  • Communicate to PCC any police policies and practices that are no-compliant with PACE or act as a barrier to effective and efficient provision of AAs
  • Regularly monitoring provision/commissioning arrangements
  • Ensure AA provision responds to relevant findings and recommendations from Inspectors (e.g. HMI Probation YOT inspections)
on Saturday December 16 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?
  • Ensure police custody officers have had the necessary training, and can access the guidance and tools, to determine whether an AA is required for a suspect
  • Ensure officers understand the role of the AA and treat them with respect
  • Ensure custody officers (and interviewing officers in the case of voluntary attendance) comply with PACE, including contacting an AA as soon as practicable and not immediately prior to interview
  • Ensure that effective systems are in place to capture relevant data (e.g. percentage of adults detained or interviewed voluntarily identified as vulnerable adults; percentage of vulnerable adults supported by an appropriate adult; sources of appropriate adults)
  • Capture and share data on need with relevant partners to inform commissioning
  • Ensure adequate facilities are available to ensure that appropriate adults:
    • are able to speak to vulnerable adults in private
    • can wait between procedures in an appropriate location (i.e. not behind custody desk or in police canteen)
  • Ensure effective protocols and structures are in place to support partnership working (e.g. local custody forums)
  • Monitor detention times 
on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?
  • Take reasonable steps to ascertain whether and AA is required, based on the rules in PACE Code C, including by:
    • Completing an effective risk assessment
    • Listening carefully to the suspect and consider input from family members or others who know them
    • Accessing advice from available professionals with relevant skills and experience (i.e. psychiatric, learning disability)
  • Make the decision to contact an AA themselves (the decision is the legal responsibility of the officer and cannot be delegated or deferred to others)
  • Contact an AA whenever the threshold in Code C is met 
  • Treat AAs with courtest and respect, including letting them into the custody suite as soon as practicable on their arrival
  • Ensure that AAs are kept updated with case progression
  • Ensure that AAs, whether present or not, are given advance notice of reviews of detention
on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?
  • In the case of a voluntary interview, determine whether the person requires an AA and for make arrangements
  • Confirm that a suspect has given their agreement to be interviewed voluntarily in the presence of an AA.
on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?
  • Provide information to assist the police officer in identifying the need for an AA
  • Advise police that an AA is required based on a clear understanding of the PACE definition and threshold
  • Do not advise that no AA is required unless:
    • they are confident that they understand the PACE Code definition and threshold; and
    • they have the necessary professional expertise in relation to the suspected condition(s); and
    • they have carried out an appropriate assessment and this has determined that the person has no mental disorder (as defined by the MHA 1983) or other mental vulnerabilty as defined by PACE.
  • Capture information on the percentage of clients screened/assessed by L&D who receive an AA
  • Share information on demand/needs with local AA scheme developers/commissioners
on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?

Implementation partnerships

In addition to mapping out strategic stakeholders, it’s helpful to map out what other relevant services are already being provided in the area. This will help you to: -

  • Understand how the service will fit into a wider network of provision
  • Identify sources of referrals to and from your service
  • Identify potential providers of your service
  • Assess whether existing contracts could varied to include AA provision.


As part of a ‘joined up’, integrated approach to people with complex needs, local areas may wish to consider how the appropriate adult function can complement the outcomes of other functions.


The police force is the central source of referrals in (it’s up to them to decide whether an AA is needed) but other services are relevant. Police officers are increasingly supported by liaison and diversion (England) or criminal justice liaison (Wales) services.  It is also worth engaging with custody healthcare (commissioned by police) and local community mental health and advocacy organisations.

Equally, you may seek to ensure that your AA schemes is able to refer vulnerable people into other local services.

on Monday December 11 by chrisbath
Was this helpful?
Download Free Designs Free Websites Templates

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

View Privacy Policy

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.

You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.