Appropriate Adult Login

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Appropriate Adult?

An independent person who attends police procedures with adults (over the age of 16) who have a mental disorder to ensure effective communication. They are trained professionals who are capable of facilitating communication in a criminal justice environment.

An Appropriate Adult is not an Advocate.


What is the difference between an Appropriate Adult and an Advocate?

An advocate is present to speak on behalf of someone and communicate exactly what a person wants and assist them in achieving their aims. An Appropriate Adult is an independent person who is present during an interview to facilitate communication between all parties.


Are Appropriate Adults employed by the Police?

No – Appropriate Adults are not employed by the Police. They are completely impartial and are not there to take sides. Their purpose is to assist with the communication process between the police officers and the individual who is being interviewed.


Who can be an Appropriate Adult?

A person who has been trained by, and contracted to, Appropriate Adults Tayside. This person is independent of the Police and has work experience in either mental health, learning disabilities, acquired brain injury or dementia.


Who are Appropriate Adults for?

Adults over the age of 16 with a mental disorder where they are being interviewed as a:-

  • Victim
  • Witness
  • Suspect
  • Accused


What is a Mental Disorder?

As defined by the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003:-

  • Mental illness
  • Learning disability
  • Acquired brain injury / cognitive impairment
  • Personality Disorder


Who decides if an Appropriate Adult is required?

It is for an interviewing police officer to decide if an Appropriate Adult is required.


During which procedures would an Appropriate Adult be used?

  • Police interview or statement with a victim, witness, suspect or accused
  • Voluntary Attendance
  • Solicitor Access Recording Form (SARF) procedures
  • Caution and Charge
  • Detention processes
  • Arrest
  • Medical Examination
  • Taking of evidential samples e.g. DNA, Fingerprints
  • Intoximeter (drink driving procedures)
  • Video Identification Parade Electronic Recording (ViPER)
  • House or body search
  • Traditional identification parades
  • Photographs


Are there any other Appropriate Adult Services in Scotland?

Yes – there are currently 21 Appropriate Adult services in Scotland. Contact details are available from the Secretary at the Scottish Appropriate Adult Network:-

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If a Solicitor is present during a police interview, is there still a requirement for an Appropriate Adult?

Yes – The role of the Appropriate Adult does not involve providing legal advice. They are there to provide communication support and to assist the person being interviewed to understand, as far as is possible, questions and procedures where their comprehension may be impaired by a mental disorder.


If an Appropriate Adult is used during a police interview, will there be one available if a person has to attend court?

If the Procurator Fiscal Service or the Defence decide that a witness or accused person requires the services of an Appropriate Adult in court they can make a request to the Service Co-ordinator and one can be provided.