Justice and ADHD - Quality advice based on experience

At the Police Station

The Appropriate Adult role was created by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, with the intention of safeguarding the rights and welfare of young people and vulnerable adults in police custody. The rights and responsibilities of an Appropriate Adult are detailed in the PACE Codes of Practice which are updated regularly.

Who needs an appropriate adult?

When someone is arrested by the police and taken to a police station, they have three basic rights: 

1. The right to free and independent legal advice

2. The right to have someone informed of their arrest

3. The right to consult the Codes of Practice

They will also be given a written notice informing them of their Rights and Entitlements whilst in custody. 

The custody officer (usually a police sergeant) who is responsible for all those detained in police custody must make sure that interviews and other procedures are conducted as soon as possible and in the proper manner. They also have a responsibility to identify vulnerable people. Those considered vulnerable are anyone who is or appears (to the custody officer) to be under the age of 17, people with mental health difficulties, people with a learning disability and those who have trouble communicating and understanding things.

Having identified a young person or a vulnerable adult the custody officer has a duty to request the attendance of an Appropriate Adult. Once vulnerability has been identified an interview cannot proceed without an Appropriate Adult present.

The below leaflet issued by the Home Office outlines the role and responsibilities of the appropriate adult at the police station. We have also added a downloadable document that explains ADHD to the custody sergeant and also details why anyone identified as having ADHD should be considered to have a mental health issue making them vulnerable and in need of an appropriate adult.

Custody Leaflet

Legal Handout



www.addiss.co.uk/ www.chadd.org/