An appropriate adult is someone who will support you if you are arrested or questioned by the police. This section looks at what an appropriate adult is there to do and who can get their support.
- The custody sergeant at the police station will get you an appropriate adult if they think you are ‘mentally vulnerable’. And need support.
- The appropriate adult makes sure the police treat you fairly and respect your rights.
- The appropriate adult makes sure that you understand what is happening at the police station.
- Appropriate adults can’t give you legal advice. But they can help you to get a solicitor
- You have the right to speak to an appropriate adult at any time at the police station if you are vulnerable.
- You have the right to speak to your appropriate adult in private.
- The appropriate adult might be your carer or relative, or a trained person.
- You have the right to free legal advice from a solicitor if you are arrested. You can have both an appropriate adult and a solicitor.
- You have the right to ask the police to tell your relative or friend that you have been arrested.
This section covers:
- Can I have an appropriate adult?
- What does an appropriate adult do?
- Who can be my appropriate adult?
- What happens when my appropriate adult comes to the police station?
- What about confidentiality?
- When should I get legal advice?
- What should I do if I am unhappy about something at the police station?
- Who will I meet at the police station?
- I am a carer, relative or friend. What do I need to know?
These pages are created by the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service. Last reviewed in May 2017. Next review May 2020.
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