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Appropriate Adults – making a difference in Northumbria

31st May 2019

The National Appropriate Adult Network (Naan) has released a report warning that over 100,000 vulnerable people were detained and interviewed by police without an appropriate adult

If a vulnerable person is held in custody, they should have their rights and welfare safeguarded effectively by an Appropriate Adult.  Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner has ensured this happens in Northumbria by developing an innovative scheme with the University of Sunderland who provide fully trained adults students who attend and give help and support to the vulnerable person. 

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird said “ Let me reassure local people that although this report makes concerning reading, here in Northumbria we have an excellent partnership in place with Sunderland University.  When an appropriate adult is needed, police officers in every custody suite force-wide have a comprehensive list of fully trained people that they can call upon. The partnership is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has really made a difference”

Dame Vera added “Being in custody can be a traumatic experience and even more so if the detainee has extra needs.  Our volunteer Appropriate Adults undertake brilliant work and their skills and knowledge ensure that all guidelines and legal requirements are adhered to.  I’m proud that our partnership with Sunderland University has made a real difference, not least of all cutting down waiting time during which vulnerable people are detained and offers support when it is needed most”.