JUST 20 suspended police station advisers have been put back on the Legal Aid Board's approved register since 800 trainees were suspended last month.
The mass suspensions, which affect 44 per cent of all non-solicitor representatives held on the Legal Aid Board's books, occurred after the trainees failed to hand in portfolios detailing practical examples of their work six months into their year-long training stint.
The fact so few trainees have handed in portfolios since the suspensions appears to confirm fears that trainees had not simply missed the deadline date and would be handing in their work soon.
A major research project into the quality of police station advice to be announced later this month may now be asked by the LAB to explain why so many accredited advisers have failed to complete a key stage of their training.
The research is being jointly funded by the Legal Aid Board and the Law Society.
The LAB's Simon Hillyard, who is responsible for running the duty solicitor scheme, said: "We wanted to assess whether the accreditation scheme is likely to improve the standard of advice which is given at police stations."