In England, the Police Act 1997 defines vulnerable people as:
‘Adults with a learning or physical disability, a physical or mental illness, or a reduction in physical or mental capacity, and living in a care home or home for people with learning difficulties or receiving care in their own home, or receiving hospital or social care services.’
Equivalent legislation applies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (e.g. The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Scotland) Regulations 2006). Under this legislation, work with vulnerable people can only be carried out by people who have current Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance, and this requirement applies to researchers.