- There to Help 3 (2020): Full report including executive summary
- There to Help 3 (2020): Executive summary
- There to Help 3 (2020): Press release
- This report is part of the There to Help research series, which forms part of NAAN policy work on vulnerable adult suspects.
- The original There to Help (2015) report was commissioned by the Home Secretary. Using police data from 2013/14, it identified problems with the identification of vulnerable suspects and the provision of appropriate adults.
- The follow up report, There to Help 2 (2019), found that by 2017/18 there had been significant improvements but many vulnerable adults continued to be missed.
- In July 2018, the Home Office made significant changes to PACE Code C relating to vulnerable adult suspects, both in custody and voluntary interviews. There to Help 3 explores the impact of these policy changes.
Download a high quality PDF copy of the infographic below.
Report raises alarm over police detention of vulnerable suspects in England and Wales https://t.co/aaG9BfMt55— The Guardian (@guardian) September 28, 2020
Police failing to provide safeguards for vulnerable: @AA_NAAN finds 39% of suspects in custody have a mental disorder; but need for an appropriate adult to be present was recorded in just 6.2% of interviews &, in one force, only 0.1%. Kyran Kanda reports https://t.co/O7Cqt8OQgi pic.twitter.com/ZtrBxOqhXa— The Justice Gap (@JusticeGap) September 29, 2020
"Appropriate adults facilitate effective participation and ensure fairness within the first - and often only - stage of criminal proceedings. Despite the importance of this safeguard, uptake remains worryingly low. Much more progress must be made to ensure that vulnerable people are given the support to which they are legally entitled.”
Dr Roxanna Dehaghani, senior lecturer in law at Cardiff University and co-author of the report
“Front line police officers have an incredibly difficult job. As a minimum, they deserve reliable tools to implement the complex rules about vulnerable suspects – and for there to be independent appropriate adult schemes available when needed. Beyond that, the sheer scale of vulnerability amongst suspects raises questions about whether we are asking police to pick up the pieces from failures elsewhere”.
Chris Bath, chief executive of the National Appropriate Adult Network and co-author of the report
“The government is clear that all vulnerable people in police custody should receive the support they need and existing legislation sets out the roles and responsibilities for this.”
Home Office spokesperson
“This latest report from NAAN is a sobering and disappointingly familiar read. Unfortunately, the evidence collected by NAAN clearly demonstrates once again how vulnerable people entering police custody are still not receiving the necessary support. This is neither in the interests of police, suspects, nor victims and can undermine public confidence in policing and the wider justice system. There is still a clear need for the government to determine through legislation, a responsible agency to deliver appropriate adults for vulnerable people aged 18 and over, and to provide ringfenced funding for the delivery of this resource.”
Martyn Underhill, Dorset police and crime commissioner, who speaks for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners on police custody