Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make statutory provision of appropriate adults for vulnerable adult detainees; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

When an adult detainee in police custody is identified as being mentally disordered or otherwise mentally vulnerable, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code of Practice C (detention) and H (detention – terrorism) requires the police to call for an appropriate adult. Whilst there is no explicit statutory requirement for provision of appropriate adults in these circumstances, there are currently various commissioning arrangements in operation across England and Wales to meet appropriate adult demand, led principally by local authorities.

In recognition of the importance of appropriate adult support for vulnerable adults, and the challenges identified by the National Appropriate Adult Network in their report ‘There to Help: Ensuring provision of appropriate adults for mentally vulnerable adults detained or interviewed by the police’, the Government is working with partners through the Vulnerable Adult Working Group to explore how best to improve appropriate adult support across England and Wales.

There are currently no plans to introduce a specific statutory requirement concerning provision.

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