Under the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984, children, young people and vulnerable adults, such as those who have a mental illness and/or a learning disability should not be interviewed by police officers about their suspected involvement in a criminal offence in the absence of an Appropriate Adult (AA).
The role of the AA is defined in Code C (1.7A and 11.17) of the PACE Codes of Practice but can be summarised as being to safeguard the welfare and best interests of vulnerable people in police custody, to facilitate communication and to ensure their rights are respected and upheld.
Change, Grow, Live is commissioned by the Youth Justice Services (YJSs) of South Yorkshire to provide fully trained volunteer AAs to support all vulnerable suspects when parents or carers are unable or unwilling to attend with the exception of suspects under 18years of age who are being dealt with during office hours in relation to offences in Rotherham when Rotherham YJS will provide the AA.
CGL Volunteer AAs may be called upon to support people through any of the following police procedures, most of which are conducted in purpose built and risk assessed South Yorkshire Custody Suites:-
Administration of rights and entitlements
Interview of suspects (arrested or attending a police station voluntarily)
Serving of Identification Papers
Witnessing identification capture
Witnessing strip and/or intimate searches- same sex
Witnessing informed consent of a person for a search to take place without an AA being present during that search
Witness drugs test for the presence of heroin or cocaine
Witness ‘disposal’ e.g. Bail, Caution, Charge
Witness extension of detention beyond 24 hours
Pre-charge court appearance for extension of detention beyond 36 hours
The routine taking of fingerprints, photograph and DNA sample
Forensic samples and photographs
A criminal record check at an enhanced level and free for volunteers through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required for volunteering as an Appropriate Adult.
Any individual barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults will not be accepted and may be at risk of prosecution by making an application.
Change Grow Live are committed to creating an inclusive environment, which celebrates difference and allows our staff and service users to flourish. We recruit the very best staff from a wide range of backgrounds, ensuring service users benefit from our diverse skills and expertise. We always work to the principles of fairness and equality of opportunity in all our recruitment processes.
We also expect an assertive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children, young people and adults, and applicants to these posts will need to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to best safeguarding practice.
If you have any questions about any aspect of volunteering as an AA, please contact the project team on 0114 2288545 or email AAScheme@sheffield.gcsx.gov.uk