The Police and Crime Commissioner was contacted in December 2015 by Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind.
Mind informed the PCC that their volunteer-led Appropriate Adult service for vulnerable adults was coming to an end in February 2016.
The service has been delivered since 2009 as a complementary part of the Diversion and Resettlement Service. This can no longer be maintained going forward.
Since 2009, the Appropriate Adult Service has supported hundreds of individuals. An example of this includes between July 2014 and March 2015: 160 individuals were supported on 214 occasions. This totalled 254.5 hours.
Appropriate Adults achieve a fairer justice system. This is by safeguarding the welfare and rights of children and vulnerable adults detained or interviewed by police.
Appropriate Adults have an important role to play in the custody environment. They make sure a detained person understands what is happening to them and why.
If this service was no longer available, it may delay the interview process. This may also cause additional stress to those in custody, who may not fully understanding the reasons for their arrest, or the questions being asked of them.
In order to maintain this service, the Police and Crime Commissioner has agreed to provide grant funding to Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind. This will ensure continued delivery for 13 months from 1 March 2016.
The length of this grant will allow time for discussions to take place with Local Authorities to agree a proposed way forward in regards to this service post March 2017.