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Appropriate Adult Service

National Appropriate Adult Network logoThe Appropriate Adult Service provides immediate and independent support to vulnerable adults who've been detained or interviewed by police. Brandon is commissioned by Avon and Somerset Police to provide this service in Keysham (B&NES) and Patchway (Bristol) custody units.

The role of the Appropriate Adult is to safeguard the interests, rights, entitlements and welfare of vulnerable people who are suspected of a criminal offence, by ensuring that they are treated in a fair and just manner and are able to participate effectively in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). 

You have to be over 18 years old to be an Appropriate Adult. You can find more information about the role on the National Appropriate Adult Network website.

What does the role involve?

Appropriate Adult Service Administrator, Alaina Duckett, explains:

"Volunteers are required to be called on, sometimes at short notice, to attend a police centre to act as an Appropriate Adult for a vulnerable person who's been arrested.

"The AA's main role is to support the detainee, ensuring they understand what's happening at the police centre, and during subsequent police interviews and investigative stages. The AA communicates with the person arrested to ensure they understand their rights and what's happening whilst they are detained in custody. It's the AA's role to ensure the detainee is treated fairly and that the police respect their rights. They also help with communication between the detainee, police and other parties.

"We're looking to recruit as many volunteers as possible. Full training and support will be given. The role suits a range of people. We have Appropriate Adult volunteers from different walks of life; people with different experiences and backgrounds, including health and social care, driving instructors, former police personnel, retired people and people currently at college or university. They are part of our highly skilled, committed and friendly team, often volunteering in complicated and stressful situations.

"AAs do not give any legal advice; they are there to ensure the detained person is treated fairly. An AA could be someone passionate about equal rights or supporting vulnerable people, some of who may have a learning disability."

More information

For more information on how to get involved, contact our team on:


We're members of the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), which enables us to keep up to date with any legislation changes or practices.

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