'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
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 call 999.
Anyone who becomes aware of concerns of abuse must report those concerns as soon as possible (within one working day) using the online referral form for Adults, or if you are unable to use this form, please visit the Adult Safeguarding Board website in order to complete and email the old paper referral form. If in doubt, report sooner rather than later.
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
If you are worried about domestic abuse, the Cambridgeshire 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
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.
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.
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 Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).
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.”