Adults at risk may not always be aware they are being abused. For example, some people may have difficulty recognising that money has gone missing or that a particular behaviour is inappropriate. Therefore we encourage everybody to be aware of the different types of abuse and the actions they should take if they are made aware of it.

If you are made aware of abuse, you should:

  • stay calm, try to reassure the person and be sensitive to their needs when responding
  • listen carefully to their account and concentrate on ensuring the person’s safety
  • get in touch with the Trust’s specialist adviser for safeguarding adults who will be able to provide you with information and advice on what actions to take next

If staff are made aware of abuse, they should

  • advise the person that you have a professional duty to share information about the abuse with your manager and ask for their consent to share with other agencies i.e. social services
  • alert your manager and make notes of the incident reported and detail any actions that have been taken as a result

Contacting the police

Abuse is a criminal offence and in most situations, a supervising manager will make the decision whether to contact the police.

Any member of the public or staff, however, has a responsibility to call the police on 999 if:

  • a person has been sexually or physically assaulted
  • a theft or other crime has been committed
  • there is evidence that needs to be preserved
  • the abuser is still nearby and the person’s safety is at risk

For information and advice about when to call the police, contact the Trust’s specialist advisers for safeguarding adults:

  • In an emergency, contact the police on 999
  • If there is not an emergency, the police can be contacted on 101

Please remember

  • The sooner you tell someone about the suspected abuse, the better. If the appropriate people are alerted early enough, it may be possible to act to prevent the abuse taking place
  • Never promise to keep secrets that protect those who abuse
  • The main priority always is to keep vulnerable people safe