Alarm Raised Over Police Detention of Vulnerable Suspects in England and Wales

Police officers detained and interviewed hundreds of thousands of vulnerable suspects last year in England and Wales in breach of mandatory safeguards, according to the body that sets standards for those who support vulnerable adults in police custody. The failure by officers to provide an appropriate adult (AA) to people with mental illness, autism or learning disabilities leaves those people at risk of miscarriages of justice, suicide and self-harm, the National Appropriate Adult Network (Naan) says in a report published on Monday. Using data obtained by freedom of information requests, the charity found that although clinical interviews show 39% of adult suspects in police custody have a mental disorder, the police recorded a need for an AA to be present in only 6.2% of detentions and 3.5% of voluntary interviews. Local variation was found to be huge, with rates at some police forces at just 0.1%.
Read more: Amelia Hill, Guardain,

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