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NIAAS - Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme

The Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme is a 24/7 service providing advice and support to adults with mental health vulnerabilities, and juveniles under 18 years who find themselves in police custody

Mental health vulnerabilities cover the full spectrum of difficulties including mental health issues, intellectual disability, autism, self-harm suicidal ideation, and personality disorder. The Appropriate Adult is an independent person who is present to ensure that the juvenile under 18 years and mentally vulnerable adults over 18 years are interviewed according to Police and Criminal Evidence Codes of Practice.

What we do

The Appropriate Adult has an important and positive role while supporting vulnerable people and juveniles in Custody, this includes ensuring that the detained person understands what is happening to him and why.

Key responsibilities include:

  • To support assist and advise the person detained in Custody particularly while being questioned in interview.
  • The Appropriate Adult is required to assist with any communication issues between detained person and police
  • To observe if the interview is being conducted fairly and with respect for the rights of the detained person
  • To ensure the detained person understands his rights while in Custody 
  • To ensure the detained person understands the caution by explaining it in simple terms.

It is NOT the Appropriate Adult’s role to give legal advice to the detained person.

Areas we cover

The Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme provides the service throughout Northern Ireland.

How to be referred

Custody staff contact our contracted Call Centre when the need for an Appropriate Adult is identified. Call Centre staff then pass the call details to the Appropriate Adult on Rota. The AA contacts Custody suite and speaks to staff and arranges to attend.

How to contact us

Northern Ireland Appropriate Adult Scheme
Mindwise Head Office
Pinewood House
46 Newforge Lane
Malone Rd
Belfast BT9 5NW
C/O Mr. Stanley Booth MBE
Appropriate Adult Scheme Manager

Tel: 02890402323

Find out more

Appropriate Adult Charlie McAuley explains how an Appropriate Adult safeguards the rights of vulnerable people in custody. 


NIAAS Annual Reports 

Click link below to read NIAAS Annual Reports 

NIAAS Annual Report 2022/2023

NIAAS Annual Report 2021/2022

NIAAS Annual Report 2020/2021

NIAAS Annual Report 2019/2020





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