Mencap calls for lawyers' understanding

Lawyers should be alert to the problems of the mentally disordered when dealing with clients in custody, says charity Mencap. It says lawyers should not hesitate to call in an appropriate adult under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, if they feel a client has difficulty understanding or communicating his or her needs. Mencap spokeswoman Lydia Sinclair says: “Lawyers should act if they feel that someone has any difficulty understanding their situation.” Mencap's report “Out of depth and out of sight” says only one in 100 mentally disordered people is given access to an appropriate adult to safeguard their rights.