Commissioned by the Youth Justice Services of Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley to provide trained volunteers to support vulnerable people in police custody in South Yorkshire.

Commitment: Minimum of 4 hours per week on-call

Role Description: 

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984, children, young people and vulnerable adults (i.e. those who have mental health problems, a learning disability or who are in some other way ‘mentally disordered’) cannot be interviewed by police officers (unless there are exceptional circumstances) about their suspected involvement in a criminal offence in the absence of an Appropriate Adult (AA).

The role of the AA is to safeguard the interests of vulnerable people in police custody, to facilitate communication and to ensure their rights are respected and upheld.

Since 1997 Sova has been commissioned by Sheffield Youth Justice Service (YJS) to provide fully trained volunteer AAs to support all vulnerable suspects when parents/carers are unable or unwilling to attend. Our service now covers Doncaster and Barnsley also.

The most common demand on the service is to support people who are to be interviewed by police officers about their suspected involvement in a criminal offence(s). Most of those to be interviewed are detained in custody suites but some may be attending the police station voluntarily. Other reasons for the police requiring the presence of an AA include:-

o Witness I.D. papers being served

o Witness I.D. procedures

o Witness strip and/or intimate searches of service user

o Witness informed consent being given for searches to take place in the absence of an Appropriate Adult

o Witness drugs tests

o Witness charge and/or bail

o Witness a superintendent’s extension of detention beyond 24hrs


Application Form

Recruitment Pack

Need more information? 

Contact the Project Team!

Tel: 0114 2288545

E-mail: [email protected] 

This project is delivered in partnership with: