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Report a concern about an adult

More information about adult safeguarding for practitioners

'Adult safeguarding' means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect’ (Department of Health and Social Care, Care & Support Statutory Guidance S14.7). The Council takes its safeguarding responsibilities very seriously and is committed to dealing with all aspects of abuse.

In an emergency

If you are worried about an adult who is in immediate danger or needs medical treatment contact the police and/or call an ambulance on 999.

If you are a member of the public

Please contact us using the web form or telephone numbers below.


0345 045 5202
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Outside office hours

If someone is in danger and unable to protect themselves, or cannot remain in the community without immediate intervention, telephone: 01733 234 724. In an emergency call 999.

For practitioners

If you are a Practitioner within CCC you should be using the internal reporting process (ie Mosaic).  If you are unable to do this, or you are an external Practitioner, please use the online referral form for Adults on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board website.

Who is an adult at risk?

Some adults with care and supports needs may struggle to protect themselves from abuse. These may be people who are:

  • Older people
  • People with a sensory impairment
  • People with a learning disability
  • People with a physical disability
  • People with mental health problems
  • People who are living with a long-term illness or condition

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults website has more information.

If you are worried about domestic abuse, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership has information and services that can help you.

Where can abuse happen?

Abuse can take place in any setting, including but not limited to:

  • in your home
  • in someone else’s home (relatives or friends)
  • in a residential or nursing home
  • in a day centre, adult education or other establishment
  • in a hospital or GP surgery
  • at work
  • in a public place

Who abuses?

The person responsible for the abuse might be a stranger, but often they are well known to the adult being abused. They may be:

  • a relative, friend or neighbour
  • a paid or volunteer carer
  • a professional worker
  • another resident or service user
  • an occasional visitor or service provider 

Types of abuse

Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

Including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.

Including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography. Witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting. 

Including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult's financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

More information about modern slavery and human trafficking on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership Board website.

There is also a national modern slavery and human trafficking helpline: 08000 121700

Including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes or practices within an organisation.

Including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Abuse may also be extremism and/or radicalisation.

Individuals who, because of their circumstance, experiences or state of mind can be lead towards a terrorist ideology. Individuals can be drawn towards the process of radicalisation in a number of ways.

If you are worried about someone being drawn into extremism or becoming radicalised, signs to look for include:

  • being drawn into to strong principles and ideologies held by others, as a means to control
  • social network involvement in extremism
  • being at a transitional time in life
  • having a need for identity, meaning and belonging
  • being influenced or controlled by a groups
  • feelings of grievance and injustice
  • feeling under threat
  • displaying mental health concerns
  • a desire for status
  • a desire for excitement or adventure
  • a need to dominate and control others.

Find out more about safeguarding people who may be susceptible to radicalisation on the ACT Early website.

Advocacy and support

Where an adult at risk has substantial difficulty in being involved with any safeguarding enquiry, and there is no appropriate individual to support, represent or help with their involvement, then the local authority must arrange for an independent advocate to support and represent the person if they wish.

Where someone lacks the capacity to understand or recognise that they are at risk of abuse or neglect, and has no one appropriate to represent their views, the person will get the support of an advocate.

Find out more about someone to speak on your behalf

What should I expect if I have reported a concern?

Safeguarding Adults is based on six guiding principles. You should expect the following should this relate to you:

  • Empowerment: “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”
  • Prevention: “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”
  • Proportionality: “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
  • Protection: “I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”
  • Partnership: “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.”
  • Accountability: “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”