He's Just Not that Vulnerable: Exploring the Implementation of the Appropriate Adult Safeguard in Police Custody
18 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 2016
This article examines the treatment of vulnerable suspects in police custody, with particular emphasis upon how the police define vulnerability in relation to adult suspects. Drawing upon qualitative data produced through observation of and interviews with custody officers (COs) at a custody suite in England, the article will explore why the appropriate adult (AA) safeguard is often left unimplemented. It builds upon previous research on the identification of vulnerability, but goes further by also addressing how vulnerability is defined. In discussion, the article draws upon legalist, culturalist, and structuralist arguments to offer explanations for non‐implementation of the AA safeguard.
Keywords: vulnerability, police, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), custody, appropriate adult (AA)
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