Our services are split into two areas that represent the two police forces we work with:  

  • Wiltshire Police  

  • Avon and Somerset Police  

In Wiltshire, our team is called the Liaison and Diversion Service (LaDS). In Avon and Somerset, the team is called the Advice and Support in Custody and Court (ASCC). ASCC works across a large area covering Keynsham, Bristol, Patchway and Bridgwater, and crosses into the Mental Health Service of Somerset Foundation Trust, which manages ASCC services in the Somerset region. 

LaDS and ASCC are available to anyone with identified vulnerabilities who have engaged with the criminal justice service before being sentenced. These vulnerabilities include: 

  • mental health 

  • learning disability 

  • autism spectrum disorder 

  • substance misuse 

  • brain injuries   


LaDS teams are based within police custody and courts across Swindon and Wiltshire.   

The work of LaDS includes: 

  • providing early assessment for vulnerable people as they come to the attention of the criminal justice system. 

  • providing critical information to the justice system to help make decisions on charging and sentencing.   

  • acting as a point of referral and follow up for service users, to ensure they can access and attend treatment and rehabilitation appointments.   

  • working alongside a partner agency, for example Nelson Trust, in custody.  

  • signposting and referring to other AWP services, social care and non-statutory agencies.    

Assessment and Support in Custody and Court (ASCC) teams are based within Patchway, Keynsham and Bridgwater custody suites and across courts in the region of Avon and Somerset. 

The work of ASCC includes: 

  • operating a drug education programme on behalf of Avon and Somerset Police.  

  • educating first time offenders arrested for possession of drugs, who may otherwise receive a caution or criminal conviction. They will emerge from the programme with a clean record after completing a half day course. 

  • carrying out drug and alcohol assessments before making a referral.  

  • referring people to a female pathway run by the Nelson Trust, known as the SHE Project.  

LaDS and ASCC both accept self-referrals, referrals from families and carers, statutory and non-statutory services, and from criminal justice agencies.   

Both services recruit peer volunteers and professional staff to support people in court who may have not been through a criminal process before, or who may have specific anxieties or conditions, for example learning difficulties or mental health issues.   

To make a referral, please use the contact information on this page.