APCC Leads write to Minister outlining next steps to protect vulnerable adults in police custody


APCC Mental Health Lead PCC Matthew Scott and APCC Custody Lead and ICVA Chair PCC Martyn Underhill have written to the Policing Minister today to formally outline what needs to happen in order to deliver protections for vulnerable adults in police custody.

The letter details the APCC Leads’ four key asks to improve the system of Appropriate Adult provision, including making this a statutory responsibility for local authorities, as proposed in a blog last month following the publication of the voluntary PCC-LA Partnership Agreement framework:

  1. Local authorities to be a named authority with clear statutory responsibility for the provision of appropriate adults for vulnerable adults, just as it is currently their responsibility to do so for children.
  2. PCCs to have a formal opportunity to engage with both the commissioning and performance monitoring of appropriate adult schemes, in line with the PCC role in providing oversight and accountability to policing and the criminal justice system. However, this must not be with a view to being the commissioning lead or funder.
  3. Minimum standards to be established and clearly communicated to local authorities, around the commissioning and delivery of appropriate adult schemes. Input from the health sector should form part of any standards.
  4. A public consultation on the current framework for appropriate adult provision should to be considered, subject to the results of the Home Office’s 12-month evaluation of this approach and the APCC’s internal monitoring arrangements.

The Police and Crime Commissioners are also requesting further detail of the evaluation, to make sure that all early warning signs are heeded and that any improvements can be shared, with appropriate consideration for stopgap measures provided by PCCs and their offices.

The full letter to Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and Fire Services, can be read here.

The voluntary Appropriate Adult PCC-Local Authority Partnership Agreement for England can be read here.


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