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9.5.4 Protocol with the Police and Emergency Duty Team re Appropriate Adult Provision

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Metropolitan Police (Hillingdon Division) and Youth Offending Service & Emergency Duty Team Appropriate Adult Joint Protocol.

Whenever a Looked After child aged under 18 is arrested, the responsible Local Authority should ensure that the young person has the support of an Appropriate Adult and a solicitor while at the police station. The solicitor should have expertise in youth justice, and be provided with relevant information about the young person's circumstances and needs, including key information from the Care Plan (and Pathway Plan if they are an Eligible Child).

For more information on Appropriate Adults, including their role in supporting children and young people, and who can fulfil this role please see Appropriate adults: Guide for Youth Justice Professionals.

AMENDMENT

In October 2016 this chapter was amended to reflect change to the Police and Criminal (PACE) Codes of Practice which requires that an Appropriate Adult is now provided for children under 18 years (10-17 years inclusive) whereas previously it was for children up to the age of 16. A link was added to ‘Appropriate adults: Guide for Youth Justice Professionals’ (Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, 2014). (See above).


Contents

  1. Intention
  2. Aim of the Appropriate Adult Provisions from the YOS and EDT
  3. Who can be an Appropriate Adult?
  4. The Provisions of Appropriate Adults
  5. Call out Procedures
  6. The Metropolitan Police Service
  7. Complaints and Grievance Procedures


1. Intention

1.1 It is intended that this protocol shall govern the working relationship between Hillingdon Youth Offending Service (YOS), the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) and the Metropolitan Police division of Hillingdon with regards to the provision of Appropriate Adults, for juveniles (persons under the age of 18), under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.


2. Aim of the Appropriate Adult Provisions from the YOS and EDT

2.1 To assist juveniles (persons under the age of 18) in the police station to understand their rights and to assist police in meeting their welfare needs. The YOS & EDT will operate in accordance with the Codes of Practice to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) who will be able to provide a consistent service and respond rapidly to requests for Appropriate Adults from Uxbridge and Heathrow Police stations, thereby ensuring that young people spend no longer than necessary in the Police Station.


3. Who can be an Appropriate Adult?

3.1

In the case of a juvenile an Appropriate Adult means;

  1. His parent or guardian (or, if he is in care, the care authority or voluntary organisation). The term ‘in care’ is used to cover all cases in which a juvenile is Looked After by a local authority);
  2. A social worker;
  3. Failing either of the above, another responsible adult aged 18 or over who is not a police officer or employed by the police.


4. The Provisions of Appropriate Adults

4.1 The YOS and EDT will respond to requests for the services of an Appropriate Adult from the police divisions within Hillingdon for any juvenile (persons under the age of 18) when it is evidenced that their parent/s, relative/s or guardian/s are unable or unwilling to attend as an Appropriate Adult.
4.2 The YOS and EDT will provide either a social worker or a vetted and trained volunteer, who will meet the criteria for an Appropriate Adult as defined by Code C1.7.
4.3 Social workers and trained volunteers will be available 7 days a week, operating a 24 hour call out system.


5. Call Out Procedures

5.1

Between the hours of 9:00hrs and 17:00hrs Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

When the services of an Appropriate Adult for any juvenile suspect, victim or witness is required, the responsible police officer will make the referral to the Youth Offending Team Duty Worker, who will be the responsible person for co-ordinating an Appropriate Adult. The duty worker will then make contact with the responsible police officer or custody officer and indicate who will be attending and co-ordinate what time they need to attend the police station.
5.2

Between the hours of 17:00hrs and 09:00 Monday to Sunday (including Bank holidays)

When the service of an Appropriate Adult for a juvenile suspect, victim or witness is required, the responsible police officer will make the referral to the Emergency Duty Team. The Emergency Social Work Team duty worker will establish the suitability of using a volunteer Appropriate Adult and inform the responsible officer or custody officer who will be attending and co-ordinate at what time they need to attend the police station.
5.3 Designated Appropriate Adults will aim to attend the police station at the time agreed between the YOS/EDT and the custody officer. The Hillingdon Youth Justice Plan sets out that the responsible team will provide the services of an appropriate adult within two hours of the request being made.


6. The Metropolitan Police Service

6.1 The custody officer must make attempts to identify a parent or guardian who is able to attend as an Appropriate Adult, in accordance with PACE and National Standards, and if appropriate facilitate their attendance if necessary, as a priority. (National standards make reference to ‘reasonable attempts to contact a parent or guardian’ and consideration needs to be given to the implications upon the course of justice and the needs of the young person).
6.2 If a parent or guardian is unable (which includes an unreasonable timescale) or unwilling to attend it shall be the custody officers responsibility, before contacting either the YOS or the EDT, to be clear whether they require an Appropriate Adult for a juvenile under PACE or whether they require an Approved Social Worker under the Mental Health Act 1983.
6.3 In all cases where a request is made for an Appropriate Adult, to be provided from either the YOS or the EDT, a solicitor will be requested to assist the juvenile in legal matters. In the event where a young person has already requested a solicitor then the Appropriate Adult will need to liaise directly with the solicitor on such matters as whether they are required to attend the station, or offer guidance over the telephone to both the Appropriate Adult and the young person. Should a request be made for an Appropriate Adult to attend the police station for the reading of a young person’s rights, or for bail only then it shall be the coordinating officer’s decision as to whether a solicitor should be in attendance.
6.4 In order to gain access to the custody suite, Appropriate Adults will present themselves at the front counter of the station office. The station reception officer has a duty to inform the custody officer as soon as is possible. In the event of any delays the police should endeavour to explain the reasons.
6.5 Entry to the custody suite may be delayed however, to prevent the Appropriate Adult being exposed to danger. Any delay should not extend beyond the time necessary to deal with the situation and a full explanation should be given to the Appropriate Adult.
6.6 All Appropriate Adults provided by either the YOS or the EDT have identification cards issued by Hillingdon Council. Entry to the custody area will not be permitted unless the pass is presented to the reception officer.
6.7 The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will ensure that Appropriate Adults are afforded reasonable protection whilst in the police station. The MPS will also provide access to a telephone and other reasonable facilities.
6.8 Appropriate Adults may only visit those parts of the police station required by the investigation. Elsewhere, a member of the MPS staff must accompany the Appropriate Adult.


7. Complaints and Grievance Procedures

7.1

The following procedure should be adopted, in the sequence shown below, to resolve any complaints or grievances.

  1. Seek informal resolution with the custody sergeant;
  2. If the matter cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all:

    The Appropriate Adult should speak to the duty officer and seek his/her assistance to resolve the matter. The consultation process should be held away from the custody suite and in a confidential environment to optimise the chances of a satisfactory resolution;
  3. If this still fails to resolve the issue:

    The Appropriate Adult should inform the Appropriate Adult coordinator at the YOS of the circumstances. The duty officer will notify the Chief Inspector with responsibility for liaison with the YOS. If considered suitable, the Appropriate Adult coordinator will contact the Chief Inspector to discuss the matter informally and attempt a resolution to the satisfaction of all parties;
  4. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved at this stage and the matter is suitable for formal complaint:

    The Appropriate Adult coordinator should put the matter in writing. The issue may become subject to the Metropolitan Police Complaints procedure and an independent individual will be appointed to investigate the matter.
7.2 In the case of complaints against Appropriate Adults, informal resolution should be sought in the first instance. If this does not resolve the matter, the Chief Inspector should discuss the issue with the Appropriate Adult coordinator. If this fails to resolve the issue, a formal complaint should be pursued through Hillingdon Council’s complaints procedure.

End