What is the Appropriate Adult Scheme?

The Appropriate Adult Scheme is well established and highly regarded by criminal justice agencies and is operated using our committed team of volunteers.

The aim of the scheme is to assist vulnerable adults who are arrested by the police for criminal offences.

Individuals with mental health problems or learning difficulties may be especially vulnerable to the distress and pressures cause by the experience of arrest and police detention.

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the associated Codes of Practice, mentally vulnerable suspects are entitled to special protection in addition to the rights of any arrested person. This protection includes the attendance of an “Appropriate Adult”.

The Scheme may be of particular interest to:

  • Anyone seeking an opportunity to gain skills and experience, particularly for future employment
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Students, especially those studying law, psychology and social work
  • Anyone who is currently unemployed or retired
  • Anyone seeking a volunteering opportunity to work with vulnerable adults

Who can be an Appropriate Adult?

  • A friend
  • A relative
  • A Guardian
  • A mental health professional
  • A responsible adult who is independent of the Police

The role of the Appropriate Adult

The role of the appropriate Adult is to:

  • Look after the detained persons welfare
  • Explain police procedures
  • Provide information about their rights
  • Ensure that these rights are protected
  • Attend the police interview to facilitate communication between the police and detainee
  • Ensure that the interview is conducted fairly and in accordance with the Codes of Practice to minimise the risk of unreliable evidence and false confessions

Service availability

The service is available every day of the year between 7:00am and 11:00pm using a rota of trained volunteers. The day is divided into two sessions (daytime and evening). Volunteers are contacted directly by the police by telephone and agree a time to arrive at the police station.

Where does the Scheme operate

The Appropriate Adult Scheme operates in Hillingdon mainly at Uxbridge and Heathrow police stations and Heathrow Customs & Excise Centre.

After training, volunteers will periodically inform the co-ordinator of their availability to cover full, or part sessions on the rota. Ideally we ask that you commit to one full session per week.

What qualities are we looking for?

We find that the role is best suited to those with good people skills – this is more important than any formal qualifications.

If you:

  • Have good communication skills
  • Can be assertive when the occasion needs it
  • Have basic administration skills
  • Are open minded and non judgemental
  • Are reliable

you are likely to make a successful Appropriate
Adult volunteer.

What do we provide?

All our volunteers receive:

  • Initial and on-going training to provide them with the knowledge and skills to perform the role of an Appropriate Adult
  • Support and advise during Scheme hours
  • Support groups
  • All out of pocket expenses

Please contact us if you would like any further information.

Les Board
Appropriate Adult Scheme Coordinator
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07810 403166

Click here to download the Appropriate Adult Monitoring Form