Policy actions  3 of 4

Appropriate adults

Appropriate adults help to ensure that vulnerable adults are not disadvantaged, in comparison to adults who are not vulnerable, during police procedures.

Police procedures can include interviews, identification procedures and forensic examinations.

The role of an appropriate adult is to assist a vulnerable person, whether victim, witness or suspect/accused, to understand what is going on and to support communication between the vulnerable person and the police.

Appropriate adult services are currently provided on a non-statutory basis, often by local authorities. We are working with the justice agencies, local authorities, third sector organisations and other stakeholders to develop a model for a statutory appropriate adult service across Scotland.

We launched a consultation on establishing a statutory appropriate adult service in Scotland, in April 2018.

A statutory service will help to to ensure that vulnerable people who come into contact with the justice systemreceive the same level of high quality support across Scotland.

Guidance on appropriate adult services for local authorities 

We have published guidance for local authorities on their statutory duties in relation to the provision of appropriate adult services.

Appropriate Adults Working Group

We have set up an Appropriate Adults Working Group to develop the model for a statutory service and co-ordinate its roll-out.

The Working Group is made up of representatives from the justice agencies, COSLA, the Scottish Appropriate Adult Network, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Forensic Network.

We have also held a workshop with an Appropriate Adults Advisory Group.

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