We're expanding our Appropriate Adult service into 7th county across the country.

From 1st September 2024 CANW will now support both young people and vulnerable adults in West Mercia custodies, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

The service will provide a CANW trained Appropriate Adult to attend a custody suite when a young person aged between 10-17 years or adult identified as vulnerable is detained, and their carer/s are unable or unwilling to attend.

The role of the Appropriate Adult is to safeguard the interests, rights, entitlements and welfare of children and vulnerable adults who are suspected of a criminal offence, ensuring that they are treated in a fair and just manner, and are able to participate effectively.

CANW already successfully deliver this service in: County Durham, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. In 2022-23 CANW responded to 16,266 referrals. Of these referrals 92% were responded to within 1 hour, an hour shorter than National standards.

Left to Right – Alastair Catherwood, Police and OPCC liaison Inspector | Rebecca Bishop, West Mercia Police Custody Chief Inspector | Anthony Hayden, CANW AA Service Coordinator | Lorna Tilley, Head of West Mercia Youth Justice Service.

Superintendent Nigel Webster said:

“We’re pleased to announce that West Mercia Police and Youth Justice Service have appointed Child Action Northwest (CANW) as our new Appropriate Adult provider. By working together with CANW we can ensure that, across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, children and vulnerable adults who find themselves in custody receive the support they need. Together we aim to have a positive impact on people, steering them away from crime, and enhancing the safety of the communities we serve.”

Michelle Dixon, Strategic Director of CANW said:

We are excited about the opportunity to support children and vulnerable adults who have found themselves detained in police custody; this West Mercia partnership will ensure they receive the best support possible. We have an amazing team of Appropriate Adults who will ensure these individuals are treated fairly and justly during the police investigations and help them participate effectively.

The Service must be delivered in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) and its code of practice PACE guidelines and the NAAN National Standards (2018) and to ensure that the child’s interests are safeguarded, they understand their rights and police procedures during their detention and clear communication is facilitated.

To find out more about CANW Appropriate Adult service – visit: https://canw.org.uk/what-we-do/support-communities/youth-justice-support/ or contact Mark Saunders on MarkSaunders@canw.org.uk

Join Team CANW

Our Appropriate Adults come from all walks of life, and we are always looking for more to join our team. Are you a good listener with strong communication skills? Do you live within 30 minutes of a Police Custody suite? Do you want the flexibility of a sessional role?

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