An Appropriate Adult ensures that a detainee understands their rights and entitlements.
These as outlined in the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act (1984) Code of Practice.
In addition, an appropriate adult facilitates communication. He/she also witnesses that the investigation process is carried out fairly.
Volunteers pass relevant safeguarding information to the local authority. However, they do not have a role in determining or influencing longer term support given to individuals on release from custody.
Cleveland’s Appropriate Adult Service is available across Custody Suites in the Cleveland Police Force area. It is also available at other locations across Cleveland as and when necessary.
The service assists partners in maintaining the most effective use of resources. It also enhances the overall commitment between local statutory agencies working together to deliver a high quality service across Cleveland.
Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind have been delivering this volunteer model in Cleveland since 2009. It supports the following Police and Crime Plan priorities:
- Bringing offenders to justice
- Helping to provide an effective police and Criminal Justice System
- Building confidence in Cleveland’s communities
Between April 2021 and March 2022, the service swiftly provided an Appropriate Adult to over 1,600 vulnerable adults at custody, requested by Cleveland Police.
That was an increase of 28% on the previous 12-month period. Recent data highlighted that the service an average response time of just 50 minutes. This demand is why the service is regarded as a critical service in supporting effective management of custody.
In April 2022, the OPCC conducted a competitive tendering process to appoint the future Appropriate Adult service provider from the 1st October 2022 onwards. Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind received a six-month extension to support this procurement exercise to ensure that an Appropriate Adult service was still in place, as any gaps would have a significant impact on Cleveland Police, and the efforts of the wider Criminal Justice System.
There were a low number of submissions during the procurement process. The submissions were over the agreed budget.
As a result, the OPCC decided to re-start the tender process to include a market engagement session for any organisation who may be interested in the opportunity to find out more.
In addition to this and following consultation with the National Appropriate Adult Network (NaaN), the budget was increased to attract market interest and ensure bids for consideration were fit for purpose, whilst at the same time able to provide value for money.
To ensure maintained access to an Appropriate Adult provision, this decision notice requests an extension to the current grant arrangements with Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind from 1 October 2022 – 31 December 2022. After this time a future delivery partner will be confirmed and mobilised.