Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS)

The Liaison and Diversion Service (LADS) was previous known as the Court Assessment Service. LADS provide assessment and advice for people aged 18 and over, either whilst in Police Custody or appearing in the criminal courts (Magistrates Court and Crown Court) in Somerset, where there are concerns or issues around mental health. 

Who we are 

There are qualified and experienced mental health practitioners covering the west of Somerset, based at Taunton Magistrates Court and Bridgwater Police Station.  A similar service for East Somerset is based at Yeovil Magistrates Court and Yeovil police custody.  We also have a Support, Time and Recovery Worker (STR).

What we do

We provide assessment of mental health needs of people over the age of 18, who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. We also co-ordinate assessment of young people. Following assessment, we can refer people to appropriate services, and, with consent, provide information to the court so that they can take account of the mental health needs of the defendant.  In Yeovil, we will also be providing a similar service to people held in police custody.  The ST&R worker will be able to provide short-term intensive support to service-users to help them access appropriate support and attend appointments if their mental health needs are preventing them from doing this.

How we work

A qualified worker will be available in Police Custody and present at court to provide an assessment of your mental health needs if required.

The assessment may take up to an hour If you consent to information being given to the court, this is done in written form, and is aimed at assisting the court to take account of your mental health needs.

If we have agreed to refer you to another agency, we will usually do so on the same day.

If we agree that you would benefit from short-term support from an ST&R worker, we will make a plan that details what the ST&R worker will help you with and how long you can expect them to work with you.

How you can access these services

You or your family can ask to speak to a CAAS worker when you are in Police Custody or at court. Any member of mental health staff can refer you. Your solicitor or member of court staff can refer you. 

Waiting time

We will attempt to see you on the day that you appear in court.

Where you can access these services

  • Bridgwater Police Custody
  • Taunton Magistrates Court
  • Taunton Crown Court
  • Yeovil Magistrates Court 
  • Yeovil Police Custody 


Liaison and Diversion Service
Glanville House
Church Street

Tel: 01278 411860
Fax: 01278 411861