Bailiwick Law Enforcement is looking for people to become Appropriate Adults.
This voluntary role ensures that the interest, rights, entitlements and welfare of vulnerable adults suspected of involvement in crime are respected.
Recently we spoke to Sergeant Stephen Phillips who is in charge of the scheme to find out how it works:
– Whenever there is a need for an Appropriate Adult, a text message goes to all members of the pool of volunteers to see who is free to do it. So, although the role would probably not be suitable for someone working full time, it is also flexible if you happen to be busy at that moment.
– Suspects tend to be arrested in the evenings so police interviews are usually in the mornings. If the case goes to court, you will be asked if you wish to follow through with the same person – but you don’t have to.
– You’ll be asked to attend a training session for a few hours on one evening or weekend to understand the policies and procedures the police must follow for detainees. If you’re happy to cover court sessions as well, you’ll have a chance to observe some beforehand.
– You will shadow someone a couple of times before being an Appropriate Adult yourself. You’ll have a mentor you can call on during a case if you are unsure.
– If a case is distressing, you’ll have access to States of Guernsey and Police welfare support.
– Sgt Phillips is keen to speak to people who have knowledge or experience of supporting people with learning disabilities or difficulties, mental health concerns or communication difficulties. However, these skills are not mandatory, he is looking for a broad range of people.
– There will be two Q&A sessions with existing Appropriate Adults at the end of January for candidates to find out more from those who already do the role. Details are being emailed to those who contact Sgt Phillips on 725111.