Appropriate Adult services have been standardised across Scotland. Legislation came into force on 10 January 2020 and stems from the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, which contains provisions relating to support for vulnerable suspects and to Appropriate Adult (AA) services:

  • a duty on the police to request the type of support provided by an Appropriate Adult for vulnerable persons in custody
  • a duty on local authorities to provide Appropriate Adults when requested to do so by the police (whether the request is made by the police, or whether it relates to support for a victim or witness), and make Local Authorities responsible for training AAs and the Care Inspectorate responsible for assessing the quality of AA provision.

Appropriate Adult services have been provided where required, during police investigations by local authorities on a non-statutory basis across Scotland since the early 1990s. Police now have a statutory duty to identify vulnerable people when they are brought into custody, giving legal underpinning to their existing commitment to ensure support is offered when needed. Further, local authorities will be legally required to provide an Appropriate Adult to support people with conditions such as autism during police investigations.

The full article can be found here:

Julie Stewart
Lead Officer Adult Protection Committee
Public Protection Unit
2nd Floor
Regent House
9 High Patrick Street

Tel: 01698 894145

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