Report abuse of an adult at risk

More information about adult safeguarding for practitioners

'Adult safeguarding' means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect’ (DoH&SC 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.

For practitioners

Anyone who becomes aware of concerns of abuse must report those concerns as soon as possible and within one working day. If in doubt, report sooner rather than later using the online form below.

For further information on safeguarding please see the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Board website and More information about adult safeguarding for practitioners.

Members of the public


0345 045 5202
8am to 6pm weekdays, 9am to 1pm Saturday

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 situation, please call the police on 999.

Who is an adult at risk?

Some adults are more at risk of being abused than others, such as:

  • older people
  • people with a visual or hearing impairment
  • people with a physical disability
  • people with learning disabilities or mental health problems
  • people living with HIV or AIDS who have care and support needs
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If you are worried about domestic abuse, the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership has information and services that can help you.

Age UK information about staying safe online

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

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 Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).

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.”