appropriate adult PACE definition

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Parent, guardian, social worker, or any responsible person over 18 years old, who is not a police officer, or a person employed by the police. Appropriate adults must be called by the police whenever they detain or interview a child or vulnerable adult. An appropriate adult must be present during a range of police processes, including intimate searches and identification procedures.

Their role is to safeguard the rights, entitlements and welfare of juveniles and vulnerable persons. They support, advise and assist the child or vulnerable person when they are given or asked to provide information or participate in any procedure; observe whether the police are acting properly and fairly to respect their rights and entitlements, and inform an officer of the rank of inspector or above if they consider that they are not.

They also assist them to communicate with the police while respecting their right to say nothing unless they want to as set out in the terms of the caution; and help them to understand their rights and make sure they are protected and respected.

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