We are keen to hear from people interested in volunteering to join the Appropriate Adults Scheme in Warwickshire. The scheme is designed to support vulnerable people who are suspected of a criminal offence, to safeguard their interests, rights, entitlements and welfare.
A new scheme is being established by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide services to support vulnerable adults in Warwickshire. It will supplement existing arrangements for adults and the separate provision by Warwickshire Youth Justice Service for children and young people aged under 18.
What are Appropriate Adults?
Appropriate Adults are members of the public who volunteer to ensure people with mental ill-health, learning difficulties and autism are treated fairly when they are interviewed by the police.
The scheme ensures that vulnerable people can understand the criminal justice process, reducing the risk of miscarriages of justice as a result of evidence being obtained from suspects which lead to unjust convictions.
As an Appropriate Adult, you will be required to be present throughout some of the important stages a detainee will go through during their stay in custody such as when they first receive their rights and entitlements, when they are interviewed and/or searched. In addition, it would be necessary to be present if samples are taken like DNA and also if they are charged. This could also include voluntary interviews.
As a volunteer you will be given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your community, develop your skills and experience, meet people and make friends. You will be provided with training and support to carry out the role. The role is voluntary (unpaid), although reasonable travelling expenses are paid.
The scheme does not require a lot of a volunteer’s time but there will be the need to be flexible and available to support vulnerable people at short notice. This may include some unsocial hours, although call outs will not take place after 11pm and before 7am. Access to a car is highly desirable as there will be a requirement to visit police custody locations in Leamington Spa and/or Nuneaton.
In addition to supporting vulnerable adults, as a volunteer you will be expected to attend four evening scheme meetings per year and a half-day Annual General Meeting, which will be held mid-year.
Initial training for the role will take place at Police Headquarters, Leek Wootton (provisionally on Saturday 25 September) and then on a rolling basis. There may also be opportunities to shadow an Appropriate Adult from the Warwickshire Youth Justice Service.
To be eligible to apply you must be over 18, live or work in the Warwickshire policing area, and have been a resident of the UK for at least 3 years. You will not be suitable if there could be a conflict of interest e.g. you are a serving Police Officer or Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) or if you have a criminal conviction.
All applications are subject to Police vetting and DBS checks.
Please note that you cannot apply to be an Appropriate Adult if you are applying to be an Independent Custody Visitor or are an existing ICV.
An information evening (via Microsoft Teams) is taking place on Thursday 17 June, 6pm to 7pm to provide prospective applicants with more information. Please email Abby Simkin at: email@example.com to register your interest.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying for this voluntary role, please read the documents below and then download and complete the application form.
Send return your completed application form by email to Abby Simkin, Appropriate Adult Scheme Manager, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applications is Sunday 27 June, 2021.
Interviews will be arranged flexibly but may be conducted via Microsoft Teams if coronavirus restrictions do not allow for a physical meeting to take place.
Documents and links
- Appropriate Adult Role Description (PDF document)
- Appropriate Adult Application Form (Word document)
- Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (Word document)
- OPCC Privacy Notice for Staff and Volunteers (PDF document)
If you require further information about role, please visit our Appropriate Adult pages or contact Abby Simkin at the email above for an informal discussion.