Some adults are vulnerable because of their age, frailty, disability, illness or lifestyle. Sometimes they can’t protect themselves, or express their feelings. So they’re more at risk of being hurt or exploited.

We work with the police, health services and other local organisations to keep people safe. We should all have the right to live in safety, without fear of abuse or neglect.

Reporting abuse

If you’re worried that a vulnerable adult is being abused, exploited or neglected – or is at risk of this happening – you have a responsibility to report it. It might be something someone has told you, something you heard or saw, or just something that makes you feel uncomfortable about how someone is being treated or looked after.

  • Contact our Adult Social Care First Response Team on 01925 443322 or Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
  • If you think a crime has been committed, ring the police on 101

If you believe the adult is at immediate risk of harm, call 999

What happens when you report it

When you ring us, we’ll ask you:

  • for details of the person you’re worried about, like their name and where they live
  • what you’ve been told, heard, seen or think might be happening
  • your name

Everything you tell us is confidential, including your name.

What happens next 

Our Adult Social Care team will:

  • listen to your concerns seriously
  • work with other agencies to investigate the concerns 
  • take any steps to protect the person, now and in the future
  • treat the person with dignity and respect, and make sure their wishes and feelings are considered wherever possible

Types of abuse and neglect

Abuse or neglect can happen once, or it can happen often. It may be something which is done on purpose, or it could be unintentional. 
It’s also considered abuse or neglect if someone doesn’t protect a vulnerable adult from being abused or neglected by someone else.

Examples of abuse and neglect:  

  • Physical abuse – such as hitting, kicking, punching, pinching, slapping, pushing, misusing medication, or physically restraining someone
  • Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse or ‘honour-based violence’
  • Sexual abuse – such as rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, or innuendo
  • Psychological abuse – including intimidation, bullying, shouting, swearing, taunting, threatening or humiliating someone
  • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, forcing someone to change their financial arrangements (for example wills, property, financial transactions), misusing or taking their money, possessions or benefits
  • Modern slavery – including slavery, domestic slavery, human trafficking and forced labour
  • Discriminatory abuse – such as harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • Organisational abuse – neglect and poor care in an institution such as a hospital, care home or care agency, including a culture of bullying, poor organisation, denying people choice, and lack of dignity and respect for service users
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical-care needs, failing to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, and withholding necessities, such as medication, adequate food and drink and heating
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding

If any of this is happening to you, please ring us or the police so that we can help you. 

What kinds of people abuse others?

Anyone can abuse, including people you might least expect:

  • spouse/partner
  • carers and care workers
  • family member/relative
  • friend
  • neighbour
  • volunteer helper
  • professional worker
  • someone not known to the person