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Title: The use of the 'appropriate adult' for mentally disordered suspects in the police station
Author: Nemitz, Teresa
ISNI:       0000 0001 3441 4576
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 1997
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The research discussed in this thesis was the first to analyse the use of the Appropriate Adult for mentally disordered adult suspects in the police station. The role of the Appropriate Adult raises questions about how, and under what circumstances should mentally disordered suspects be detained and interviewed in the police station? The Appropriate Adult is the only special protection provided for mentally disordered suspects during their detention and interrogation. The Appropriate Adult's role and function is defined in Code C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The role of the Appropriate Adult is to ensure that the suspect's rights are respected, the suspect understands the procedures involved and that the police adhere to the Code, thereby minimising the risk of the police obtaining unreliable evidence from the suspect e. g. false confessions. The data in this thesis shows that the use of the Appropriate Adult is rarely used. Out of the study of 20.805 custody records in four police stations in three police areas during 1992, it was found that an Appropriate Adult was used for only 38 mentally disordered adult suspects. The research also showed that at least a further 448 mentally vulnerable suspects should have had an Appropriate Adult called for them. Some of the reasons why the Appropriate Adult protection is neglected are examined and in so doing many socio/legal questions are raised such as: false confessions, miscarriages of justice, the amendment to the `right to silence, ' confidentiality, the roles of the custody officer, solicitors and police surgeons, and last but not least, the role and function of the Appropriate Adult. While there is growing concern about the ability of persons asked to act as Appropriate Adults the thesis includes a case study of a volunteer Appropriate Adult Scheme that provides some answers to the many issues raised and points the way to future development of those suspects detained and interviewed in the police station.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Detention of suspects; Interviewing of suspects