Vulnerable Adults Latest Updates

July 2020

  • NAAN submitted a response the Home Office's public consultation on the revision of PACE codes C (detention) and E (audio recording of suspect interviews) in response to coronavirus. In particular this related to the risks of allowing remote legal advice and representation.

April 2020

  • Work began on There to Help 3 (2020) report, based on data from police forces and L&D. 

December 2019

  • NAAN submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to all police territorial police forces in England and Wales, plus British Transport Police, Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department for Work and Pensions. The requests asked for data on the recorded need for AAs in the year to March 2019, in custody and voluntary interviews.
  • NAAN requested data from NHS England Liaison and Diversion National Programme Team on the extent to which police had used the AA safeguard amongst L&D clients in the year to March 2019.

June 2019

  • Addressing the NHS England event The Bradley Report 10 Years On – a review of progress and next steps, Lord Bradley, author of the seminal Bradley Report (2009) which highlighted the importance of identification and effective AAs, said "We have to get statutory provision of appropriate adults for vulnerable adults".
  • In ten years time (2019), a report by Revolving Doors Agency and Centre for Mental Health (Co-Chairs of the Bradley Report Group) referenced both There to Help (2015) and There to Help 2 (2019). The report marked 10 years since the Bradley Report and set out a roadmap for the next decade in terms of improving outcomes for people with mental ill-health, learning disability, developmental disorders or neuro-diverse conditions in the criminal justice system.
  • There to Help 2 (2019) was highlighted in the ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) bulletin and circulated to the ADASS Care and Justice Network

May 2019

February 2019

  • The Home Office sent a survey to all Police and Crime Commissioners, with a letter from the Policing Minister, asking them about the partnership agreement published in July 2018, whether it has been implemented and what has changed. This will be used to evaluate the impact of this voluntary approach and inform decisions about future steps.
  • Criminal Law Review published a paper on the July 2018 changes to the PACE definition of vulnerability by Dr Roxanna Dehaghani and Chris Bath [This material was first published by Thomson Reuters, trading as Sweet & Maxwell, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ, in Criminal Law Review as Vulnerability and the Appropriate Adult Safeguard: Examining the Definitional and Threshold Changes within PACE Code C Issue 3 and is reproduced by agreement with the publishers].
  • Chris Bath and five leading academics wrote to the Chair of the NPCC working group on risk assessment. The letter proposed that existing plans for a new national tool be extended to include not just physical / healthcare risks but also criminal justice risks arising out of mental vulnerability.     

November 2018

  • The Scottish Government published an analysis of responses to its public consultation on establishing a statutory appropriate adult service.

August 2018

July 2018

  • NAAN submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to all territorial police forces and British Transport Police. The requests seek find out whether the percentage of adults identified as needing an AA has changed since There to Help. Data was also requested from NHS England's liaison and diversion programme and NAAN members. This will be analysed and inform a new report providing an update on changes since There to Help (2015).
  • The Association of PCCs released a statement welcoming the national focus and setting out proposed next steps, including a statutory duty on local authorities. 
  • Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP wrote to all PCCs and directors of adult social care to highlight the new partnership agreement.
  • The Home Office published a partnership agreement setting out a framework for PCC and local authorities to work together locally to solve the lack of provision of AAs for adults. The Home Office committed to reviewing the effectiveness of the agreement after 6 months and 12 months. 
  • The Home Office published significant revisions to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice (PACE Codes) including redefining which adults an AA is required for and requiring police to make 'reasonable enquiries' as to what information is available about a person's potential vulnerability.
  • NAAN published a guide to the revisions to the PACE Code, to assist appropriate adult schemes and police to implement the changes. 

June 2018

January 2018

October 2017

September 2017

  • Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP wrote to all Police and Crime Commissioners, asking for support for a voluntary partnership approach with AA provision/commissioning led by local authorities and supported by PCCs
  • Luciana Berger MP (Labour) asked in a written question whether the Home Secretary make statutory provision of appropriate adults for vulnerable adult detainees. Policing Minister Nick Hurd highlighted the There to Help report and the Home Office working group but replied that, "There are currently no plans to introduce a specific statutory requirement concerning provision".

February 2017

  • The Home Office working group met for the fourth time. The meeting focused on: (a) finalising proposed changes to PACE Code C; (b) an analysis of the costs of statutory provision undertaken by a Home Office economist; (c) draft commissioning guidance and (d) linking projects related to improving identification.
  • NAAN held a meeting to develop links between separate work currently being undertaken by the Home Office, National Police Chief's Council, College of Policing and NHS England Liaison and Diversion on improving the identification of vulnerability by police.
  • The Local Government Association (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board discussed an LGA Review of Appropriate Adult provision for vulnerable adults, developed in response to There to Help (2015). The paper set out seven future options for the provision of AAs for vulnerable adults and asked the Board to select one or develop a new one. The Board. The Board did not agree to support any of the seven future options included in the report and did not propose an alternative.

January 2017

November 2016

  • The Home Office's Crime and Policing Knowledge Hub's researcher reported back to the Home Office Police Integrity and Powers Unit. The report estimated the number of adults living in areas that do not have AA coverage and the additional costs for AA provision (in custody only). It concluded that the figures were "broadly comparable with the findings of the NAAN report". 

October 2016

  • The Home Office working group met for the third time, to discuss findings of further research by the Home Office and separately by the University of Bristol, potential changes to PACE and potential solutions to the issue of provision. The Home Office and NAAN agreed to collaborate on commissioning guidance for AA schemes for adults.

May 2016

  • NAAN gave verbal evidence to Dame Elish Angiolini and made a written submission to the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody. 

April 2016

  • The Home Office working group met for the second time. Officials later concluded that further research is required and will seek additional resources to set up an additional research project to be delivered by the Home Office's Crime and Policing Knowledge Hub. This will involve officials visiting a range of appropriate adult schemes with different models of delivery and commissioning, discussing issues with providers, commissioners and police.

January 2016

December 2015

August 2015

  • There to Help, the report of the Home Secretary's commission has been published and is available to download. Theresa May MP ordered the establishment of a Home Office working group (reporting to the PACE Strategy Board) to consider our report's findings and recommendations.

July 2015

March 2015

  • NAAN has submitted its report, There to Help, to Home Secretary Theresa May.

January 2015

  • NAAN has now been formally commissioned by the Home Office to undertake a research project in relation to AAs for mentally vulnerable adults. We have asked the Institute of Criminal Policy Research to work in partnership with us on the project. 

October 2014

  • NAAN 10th Anniversary event at the House of Lords. Lord Bradley, Chris Bath and Superintendent Alan Greene (representing the national policing lead for custody) repeat the call for a statutory duty to provide AAs for vulnerable adults.
  • The Home Secretary announced that she will commission NAAN to consider the problems and solutions to ensure vulnerable adults receive the support they need from AAs. The Home Secretary recognised that The Home Secretary noted that, "There is evidence to suggest that there are not enough Appropriate Adults to support vulnerable people who are in police custody...It is right that all vulnerable people can access this invaluable service.”

August 2014

  • The Avon & Somerset PCC, Sue Mountstevens, supports NAAN's call for a clear statutory position on provision for vulnerable adults. In the meantime, Ms Mountstevens has secured Appropriate Adult scheme coverage in the south of the force area and is currently in negotiations regarding the north area. The PCC will take on majority of funding responsibility for Appropriate Adults for vulnerable adults across the Avon and Somerset Police area from April 2015. The PCC supports NAAN's call for a clear statutory position on provision for vulnerable adults. 

July 2014

May 2014

  • The Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles, has promised one-off funding to Derbyshire Appropriate Adult Service, a member of NAAN, to support continued provision of AA services. Mr Charles has published a strongly worded statement making clear that a long term solution is required.

May 2014

January 2014

  • NAAN publishes the position paper Who's looking out for the adults? setting out the problem and how the Government's development of Liaison & Diversion services provides an opportunity (and an imperative) for change.