An appropriate adult is responsible for protecting or ‘safeguarding’ the rights and welfare of a child or ‘vulnerable’ adult who is either detained by police or is interviewed under caution voluntarily. Although there is no legal duty on any agency to provide Appropriate Adult provision for vulnerable adults, the Police and Crime Commissioner has agreed to continue to provide funding for this service to:
1) Increase public confidence in the justice system.
2) Ensure those identified as vulnerable and detained by police or interviewed under caution are given and understand their rights and entitlements.
During the previous five years Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind have delivered and developed a successful volunteer led 24/7 Appropriate Adult service across the Cleveland area which has seen year on year increases in call outs.
Between 1 April 2020 and 31 December 2020, 911 individuals had been supported by the appropriate adult service compared to 638 individuals during 1 April 2019 and 31 December 2019. Due to this, discussions are ongoing with Local Authority colleagues is terms of effectively managing this demand moving forward.
The purpose of this decision is to continue this funding for 12 months (1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022).
This supports the PCC’s objective of Securing the Future of our Communities by ensuring public confidence in the justice system.