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Faculty: Make sure “appropriate adult” scheme is working well before extending it

Faculty: Make sure “appropriate adult” scheme is working well before extending it | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
A full review should be made of the “appropriate adult” system for vulnerable people in police custody before it is applied to complainers and witnesses, the Faculty of Advocates has suggested. The Scottish government plans to put existing, non-statutory appropriate adult services on a statutory...
NAAN's insight:
The Scottish Government continues to work towards putting AA services on a statutory footing. NAAN has been pressing for the same thing in England and Wales.
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'They’re coming to get me': troubled student who killed an academic | UK news | The Guardian

'They’re coming to get me': troubled student who killed an academic | UK news | The Guardian | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

"Nandap’s sister warned police after his arrest in May that he was suffering depression, anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, and was a heavy cannabis user. Her request to be an “appropriate adult” at his police interview was refused. Arresting officers had noticed his strange behaviour – “They’re coming to get me. They’re trying to kill me,” he was shouting – and wondered if it could be due to mental illness or drug use. When interviewed, he denied having a knife, but said he had a hammer inside a magazine. When asked why, he replied: “I just do random things, like spy manoeuvres. I’m kind of a funny guy like that.” No alarm bells rang. The doctor who examined him before the interview confirmed he was given “no information, no markers” on his mental health, because another officer had missed the information on the custody record".

NAAN's insight:
Weaknesses in the the identification of mental vulnerability undermine the effectiveness of the AA safeguard. Need has to be identified for the safeguard to be applied. The best situation is if need is identified and treated early enough that there is no contact with the police and justice system at all.
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The Tottenham 3: the legacy of the Broadwater Farm riot

The Tottenham 3: the legacy of the Broadwater Farm riot | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

"The investigation relied heavily on the interrogation of youths. The lessons learnt are important to remember, as never have we faced a time when so many young people are accused of violent offences. It is easy to forget their vulnerability. We perhaps treat them like adults because the crimes they are accused of are so very grown up.Determination to convict someone for the crime meant safeguards were not rigidly enforced. Confessions were persuaded that were worthless. The prosecution put a case to the jury which was to coin a phrase nothing but fake news. Perhaps the media and the public have a responsibility too. The pressure on the state to find those responsible for such an egregious crime made them break".

NAAN's insight:
A high profile example of where, post-introduction of PACE, AA safeguards were not applied and justice was not well served.
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Graeme Hydari: Criminal justice system failing autistic people

Graeme Hydari: Criminal justice system failing autistic people | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
Autistic people are being let down by the criminal justice system in England and Wales, writes Graeme Hydari. Despite receiving guidance, many of the judiciary and magistracy do not have a basic understanding of autism spectrum disorder, which is a developmental condition that cannot be treated or...
NAAN's insight:
Mr Hydari rightly points out that (a) a person with autism must have an AA and (b) there is no requirement for the AA to be trained on autism. In fact there is no requirement for AAs to be trained on anything - hence the existence of NAAN. The NAAN training pack includes training on autism and we've been working with others to ensure organisations in our network have access to additional specialist training. 
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Specimens, sentencing, terrorism, enforcement | Feature

Specimens, sentencing, terrorism, enforcement | Feature | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
Evidence...
NAAN's insight:
This article hihglights new case law Miller v DPP 2018 EWHC 262 (Admin) which helps to emphasise the importance of appropriate adults for adults who are mentally vulnerable in that context.
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Ministers consult on statutory "appropriate adult" provision: The Journal Online

Plans for a statutory service to help ensure vulnerable people who come into contact with the justice system receive the same level of high quality support across Scotland, have been put out to consultation by Scottish ministers.

NAAN's insight:
Scotland is making plans for a statutory service, something NAAN has consistently called for in England and Wales for adults.
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Half Of Those Who ​Died In Police Custody ​In The Past Year Had Known Mental Health Concerns

Half Of Those Who ​Died In Police Custody ​In The Past Year Had Known Mental Health Concerns | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

Jackie Fisher, project manager at the Mental Health Foundation, told BuzzFeed News there needs to be improved access to mental health support services for people in custody. Fisher also suggested more consistent use of Appropriate Adult schemes for vulnerable adults, or card-based identification, which are used to help police officers identify mental vulnerabilities.

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The position of vulnerable suspects under arrest. Back to the Dark ages.

The position of vulnerable suspects under arrest. Back to the Dark ages. | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
The absence of an appropriate adult also weakens resistance to attacks via the inference of silence with prosecutors relying on their absence to bolster an assault upon the exercise of the right to remain silent which can be crucial to the vulnerable.
NAAN's insight:
We agree that proposed changes to the threshold for an AA will disadvantage vulnerable suspects. 
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Pet dog suffered 'horrendous' injuries from 'boiling oil'

A man with a learning disability who had been “systematically bullied” by two men living in his home has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his pet dog.

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Revised police custody code 'could undermine children's rights'

Revised police custody code 'could undermine children's rights' | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
Read Revised police custody code 'could undermine children's rights' and the latest children services news & best practice on Children & Young People Now
NAAN's insight:
The prevalence of mental illness and neurodevelopmental conditions is extremely high amongst children in police custody. It is important that this is considered when they are detained (or interviewed voluntarily. This story also mentions concerns about the use of 'live-link' Skype-style interviews. 
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The Met's Violent Arrests of London's Black Youth Risks Civil Uprising Warns Lee Jasper

The Met's Violent Arrests of London's Black Youth Risks Civil Uprising Warns Lee Jasper | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
Black youth in London are increasingly subject to disproportionate and viole nt arrests at the hands of the Metropolitan Police. Suc
NAAN's insight:

Police can refuse to allow a parent to act as an AA (as was the case in this story) but they can only do so for the reasons outlined in PACE. This story also highlights the challenge for trained AAs who, with the best intentions, are still ' a local stranger' to the suspect. Finally, this story illustrates how parents are excluded from the process if they do not fulfil the formal AA role. 

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People with mental illness let down by criminal justice system

People with mental illness let down by criminal justice system | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
People with mental illness let down by criminal justice system Mental health experts, not the police, should be identifying vulnerable people, according to a report by the human rights group JUSTICE which also calls for specialist prosecutors to make charging decisions. The group backs the Law Commission’s recommendations that the test of fitness to plead …
NAAN's insight:

The Justice Gap reports on the new Mental Health and Fair Trial report from the charity Justice, which NAAN contributed to.

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Police watchdog orders force to reinvestigate treatment of autistic man

Police watchdog orders force to reinvestigate treatment of autistic man | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
An independent watchdog has upheld an appeal by the family of a young autistic man who say he faced discrimination and mistreatment by a police force, months after it cleared another force of simil…
NAAN's insight:

This story relates to an autistic man who was arrested after being attacked, then arrested by a different force and did not get an AA.

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Children being used to spy on terrorists, drug dealers and grooming gangs by British security services

Children being used to spy on terrorists, drug dealers and grooming gangs by British security services | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

"The Home Office was unable to give the number of juveniles currently being used as spies, which peers said they found “surprising”. The government department also said it did not have a breakdown of specific age groups. The amendment to current law requires that sources the age of 16 should have an appropriate adult “qualified to represent the interests of the source” present at any meetings with their handler, but those between the ages of 16 and 18 are expected to go alone."

NAAN's insight:
Prior to this story coming to the attention of the public, NAAN was not aware of the "appropriate adult" role in this context. It does not reflect the role under PACE and NAAN does not have any role in best practice or guidance in relation to it.
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An ode to a schizophrenic sibling: Louis Quail’s moving portraits of his brother | Art and design | The Guardian

An ode to a schizophrenic sibling: Louis Quail’s moving portraits of his brother | Art and design | The Guardian | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

A new book of photographs ​challenges the stigma around mental health and captures the light and shade in the lives of Quail’s brother Justin ​a​nd his girlfriend, Jackie...Louis explains the context for the portrait. “Last night Justin was arrested for ‘criminal damage to a glass’ and I am here, today, in my capacity as ‘appropriate adult’, trying to understand the facts behind the charge, which on the face of it seem slightly ludicrous.” He also writes: “I Fought the Law is apparently one of the songs that Justin has been singing at the top of his voice throughout the night. When he gets agitated he’s prone to such outbursts, and this morning he has good reason.”

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PNLD - Document Portal - Changes to PACE Codes C, E, F and H - Coming in force on 31st July 2018

PNLD - Document Portal - Changes to PACE Codes C, E, F and H - Coming in force on 31st July 2018 | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
12 July 2018 The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice) (Revision of Codes C, E, F, and H) Order 2018 (SI 2018/829) brings into force on Tuesday 31st July, four revised codes of practice under PACE which will supersede corresponding codes of practice. Revisions to Code C: the introduction of a new definition of 'vulnerable' to describe a person for whom an appropriate adult must be called, supported by a new requirement for proactive steps to identify and record factors which indicate that a suspect may require help and support from an appropriate adult and provisions which update the role description of the appropriate adult and who may or may not act in this capacity. The requirement to identify factors that indicate vulnerability is also extended to juveniles for whom an appropriate adult must always be called. the rights, entitlements and safeguards that apply to voluntary suspect interviews, and the procedure to be followed when arranging for the interview to take place are set out in full in the revised Code C. This change takes account of concerns that suspects might not realise that a voluntary interview is just as serious and important as being interviewed after arrest. The approach mirrors that which applies to detained suspects on arrival at the police station but with the interviewer rather than the custody officer setting out the rights, entitlements and safeguards. the revised Code C reflects amendments to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 made by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 in relation to the use of live links, and to ensure that 17 year olds have the safeguards applicable to 14 to 16 year olds. Revisions to Code E: substantial changes to the existing approach to audio recording of suspect interviews. The new and revised provisions cover all interviews for all types of offence, for all suspects whether or not arrested and irrespective of the case disposal outcome. In brief, the revised approach: specifies the types of devices which, if authorised by the chief officer, are to be used to audio record suspect interviews for any offence type. This specification extends the range of devices that may be used to record suspect interviews. means that for any interview for any type of offence, whenever a suitably compliant authorised recording device is available and can be used, it must be used and a written interview record may be made only if a specified officer determines that such a device is not available/cannot be used and that the interview should not be delayed until such time that it can be audio recorded. Depending on the offence in question, whether the suspect has been arrested and where the interview takes place, the 'relevant officer' may be the custody officer, a sergeant or the interviewer. Revisions to Code F: the provisions of Code E are mirrored in Code F by setting out the requirements and modifications that apply exclusively for the purposes of making a visual recording with sound in the context that the police are under no obligation to make such a visual recording. Revisions to Code H: The changes made to Code H mirror those in Code C insofar as they apply to vulnerable suspects.
NAAN's insight:
Major changes to the PACE Codes in relation to vulnerability and voluntary interviews (and more). NAAN has published a detailed guide at http://www.appropriateadult.org.uk/index.php/about-us/news/204-pace-code-changes-2018
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Five things we learnt in employment law this week (June 15 2018)

Five things we learnt in employment law this week (June 15 2018) | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
Form the Supreme Court dismissing the Pimlico Plumbers case to the latest in disability discrimination, here's five things in employment law this week.
NAAN's insight:
Highlights an employment law case in which the engagement of an ‘appropriate adult’ on a casual basis, with no mutuality of obligation. did not give rise to an umbrella contract of employment that remained in force between shifts. 
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Jane Kennedy calls on Government to change law for vulnerable adults in custody

Jane Kennedy calls on Government to change law for vulnerable adults in custody | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
MERSEYSIDE’S police commissioner has called for Government officials to change the law supporting the way vulnerable adults in custody are supported. Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 codes of practice the police need to contact an ‘appropriate adult’ (AA) as soon as practicable when they believe a person they have in custody may be vulnerable or is under 18. This would include people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism. Jane Kennedy stepped in to fund an AA service, delivered by The Appropriate Adult Service (TAAS) for a six month period in 2016 but has since been unable to find a long-term solution for the service. It is being funded for a further year by police cash reserves. Ms Kennedy is calling upon the Government to assess the situation by changing the law to make this service a required responsibility, in the same way that appropriate adults for young people are provided. She said: “It is a mark of our civilisation that we give our most vulnerable people proper protection in detention, making sure they have the right help and support that they, and the authorities need. “People who have learning disabilities, are experiencing mental health problems or are particularly vulnerable should not be detained longer than is absolutely necessary. “Between May 2016 and January 2018, the service I commissioned from TAAS has safeguarded the welfare and rights of nearly 1,200 vulnerable adults – individuals who otherwise would not have received the support they need and deserve and to which they have a legal right. “I stepped in to fund this service using reserves as a short-term solution nearly two years ago. "I am now being forced to choose between reducing the support I can provide for victims of crime or other important community safety work to fund this service, or allow vulnerable adults to be let down. “In other policing regions, I know this service is not being delivered. People with learning disabilities, mental illnesses and autism are being detained and questioned without appropriate support, even though it is against the law. “I have repeatedly raised my concerns with ministers, most recently in a letter to Policing Minister Nick Hurd last September. Yet my calls for change appear to be falling on deaf ears. “The Government cannot wash its hands of this situation any longer.”
NAAN's insight:
Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner says the time has come to implement statutory AA provision for adults. NAAN's 2015 "There to Help" report , commissioned by Theresa May, recommended that the Home Office consider this legislative change. 
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The Salford Viewpoint: Why vulnerable people in police custody desperately need more support | News portal | University of Salford, Manchester

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Lib Dems: We might not be discussing mental health detention at our Conference, but we are trying to change things

Lib Dems: We might not be discussing mental health detention at our Conference, but we are trying to change things | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

"The detaining officers proceeded to detain my constituent’s son under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983...The sergeant instructed them to take him not to a place of safety but back to Romford police station, where he would be interviewed under caution. There was no legal representation for M when he was in the police station and there was no appropriate adult present either".

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Former police officer who tried to cover up drink-drive crash loses appeal

Former police officer who tried to cover up drink-drive crash loses appeal | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
A former policeman who tried to cover up a drink-driving episode has lost his bid to overturn a conviction for intent to pervert the course of justice.
NAAN's insight:
This case includes an appeal based on the failure to provide an AA. We'd like to see more details but it appears that the man was very emotional and there were concerns about mental vulnerability but the police force's physician advised police that no AA was needed.  
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SCYJ submission to the Home Office consultation on PACE Code C

SCYJ submission to the Home Office consultation on PACE Code C | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
SCYJ has made a submission to the Home Office consultation on the revision of PACE code C, which outlines requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects in police custody. SCYJ has concerns over changes to the definition of vulnerable adult: it is important that it is made...
NAAN's insight:
NAAN is a member of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice and we share the same areas of concern, which were reflected in our own response. 
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Appropriate Adult Volunteer's Story

Appropriate Adult Volunteer's Story | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
When a call out comes it could be for so many different reasons. It could mean a very short visit to the police station or emerging many hours later, way after your shift should have finished, but you have chosen to stay to see things through.
NAAN's insight:
Great to see this very honest account of the #appropriateadults experience. Important that people have an insight before taking on the role. 
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Recording interviews with body-worn cameras: the latest PACE codes consultation

Recording interviews with body-worn cameras: the latest PACE codes consultation | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it

"The proposed changes include a new definition for ‘vulnerable adult’, clarification of the role of appropriate adults, provisions regarding the use of live link for police interviews, …"

NAAN's insight:

The Justice Gap consider the implications of body worn video interviews highlighted by the PACE consultation.

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Kent Police volunteer awarded MBE

Kent Police volunteer awarded MBE | Appropriate adults | Scoop.it
A MBE has been awarded to a volunteer appropriate adult from Tonbridge. The man was present at over 1,700 police
NAAN's insight:

Our congratulations to Chris Barmby MBE, who volunteers with NAAN member Young Lives Foundation 

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