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A Children’s Commissioner report on children in police custody and appropriate adults

A night in the cells: children in police custody and the provision of non-familial appropriate adults, Children’s Commissioner, June 2017

The Children’s Commissioner for England has undertaken research on the provision of non-familial appropriate adults (AA) by local authorities, to ascertain:

  •  the nature of non-familial AA provision, including how the AA role is understood by the police and those providing the service; 
  • the extent of delay in referral for an AA, looking at AA response times and the reasons for delay; 
  • the implications for the level of support that children experience while in detention and how children experience their time in police custody; and other factors influencing the period that children spend at the police station.

The research included  a survey of all youth offending teams (YOTs) in England, qualitative interviews with professionals and children and analysis of custody records.  The report analysis the custodial environment, the experience of children and the role of appropriate adults and combines the findings with case studies and recommendations.