Safeguarding is protecting an adult's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Some adults with care and support needs are not always able to protect themselves.
If you are an adult experiencing abuse or neglect, or if you are worried about an adult you think may be at risk, please contact the Adult Social Care Team.
Abuse can come in many different forms. If you have any concerns about somebody but are unsure what they are experiencing counts as abuse, please contact the Adult Social Care Team so we can discuss it with you.
Abuse is any action by another person that causes significant harm to an individual. It can be neglect, physical, sexual or emotional harm.
Abuse can also be about a lack of care and attention. Neglect, whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a person as physical abuse.
Below are some of the many different forms abuse can take:
- Physical - including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraining or inappropriate sanctions.
- Sexual - including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting to.
- Psychological - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of human contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
- Financial or material - including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
- Neglect or acts of omission - including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care, education services or misuse of medication, adequate nutrition or heating.
- Discrimination - including racist, sexist behaviour and harassment based on a person's ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age or disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
This can sometimes happen in residential homes, nursing homes or hospitals and is when people are mistreated because of poor or inadequate care, neglect, and poor practice that affects the whole of that service.
Any of these forms of abuse can be either deliberate, the result of negligence or due to a lack of training, knowledge or understanding.
While it is certainly true that anybody could be abusing an at-risk adult, it is most commonly carried out by those known to the victim, including, but not limited to:
- paid care workers
- other service users
- friends and associates
Although there may not always be visible signs that a vulnerable adult is being abused, a display of the following may be a sign of abuse:
- Multiple bruising or finger marks.
- Injuries the person cannot give a good reason for.
- Deterioration of health for no apparent reason.
- Loss of weight.
- Inappropriate or inadequate clothing.
- Withdrawal or mood changes.
- A carer who is unwilling to allow access to the person.
- An individual who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer.
- Unexplained shortage of money.
If you have noticed any of these signs, it doesn't mean that an adult is definitely at risk.
However, please let us know about anything you've noticed that you're worried or uncertain about. We can give you free advice and support and help you keep the person safe.
Anyone can become a target for fraudsters and a victim of financial abuse. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You may be told you’ve won a prize or have a time limited special offer. You may be offered a loan by a fake lender. Anything out of the blue will most likely be fraud.
People are targeted over the phone, via email or even in their homes.
It's shocking to learn that people defrauded in their own homes are two and a half times more likely to die or go into residential care within a year.
That's why we're teaming up with Trading Standards, City of London Police and other key local partners to talk to spread the word.
Signs to watch out for
- Sudden and unexplained withdrawals of money from your accounts.
- Someone who is managing your money and is secretive about what they are doing with it.
- Someone claiming to be from your bank or the police asking for personal or financial details.
- Receiving a high volume of mail.
- Regular phone calls from people selling goods or services.
What to do
- Always check with a trusted friend or relative before agreeing to sign up to anything or buy any goods or services, particularly from unsolicited calls, emails or doorstep visits.
- Be very cautious about providing any of your personal details during a cold call.
- You can put the phone down or shut the door – it isn’t rude and you don’t have to speak to strangers.
- Get in touch with a professional body (see ‘guidance and support’ section).
What not to do
- Never give your personal or any payment details (including any bank or credit cards, as well as your PINs) to anyone you don’t know and trust. Your bank or the police will never ask for your financial details or send a courier to collect your payment cards as part of any fraud investigation.
- Never let cold callers into your home. Get a peephole and a door chain so you can see who it is before answering.
- Never sign up to anything on your doorstep. Take a few days to think about offers and talk to someone you trust about it.
Adult Social Care Team, City of London Corporation
- Call 020 7332 1224 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) or 020 8356 2300 (out of hours)
- Email: Adult Duty Team
- Call 03454 04 05 06
- Email: Trading Standards
- Call 020 7392 2919
- Email: City Advice
Action Fraud (when reporting fraud, including suspected/attempted fraud)
- Call 0300 123 2040
In an emergency, always call 999.