If you are worried that you or someone you know is in immediate danger, you should call the police on 999.
If the person you are worried about is not in immediate danger then you can report suspected abuse of an adult online or you can print off a printable version of the form (PDF 161KB) and send it to us. If you would rather speak to us, or if you need any help completing the form, you can call us on 0300 300 8122 (Monday to Friday, 08.45 - 17.20) or 0300 300 8123 outside of these hours or email email@example.com
If you want to report abuse of a child, please call our children’s team on 0300 300 8149. You can read more about protecting children on our website.
Everyone is entitled to live their life in safety without being mistreated, hurt or exploited by others. But some people's situations may make them more vulnerable to abuse and less able to protect themselves from harm or mistreatment.
Mistreating someone with care and support needs is abuse.
Failing to properly look after a person with care and support needs in your care is known as 'neglect'.
Both abuse and neglect of people with care and support needs are never acceptable.
We believe that everyone should be
free from violence, abuse and fear
respected by other people
able to make choices about what affects them and
It is important to remember that if you are being abused it is not your fault.
We take abuse of people with care and support needs very seriously - we will listen to your concerns and give you a prompt response
Abuse is when someone does something which is wrong that hurts you, makes you feel frightened or unhappy. The abuse can vary from treating someone with disrespect in a way which significantly affects the person's quality of life, to causing actual physical suffering.
Abuse can be one of the following or a combination:
Physical - when someone hurts you, this could be kicking, slapping, biting, scratching or shaking you.
Sexual - this is when someone touches you on your private parts and you do not want them to. They may try to kiss you or have sex with them, or show you pictures of other people having sex.
Psychological or emotional - when people say things to you which are not nice, call you names, treat you like a child, laugh at you or ignore you.
Financial - this is when someone takes your money or things that belong to you, or makes you pay for things or tells you how to spend your money.
Discriminatory - this is when somebody treats you unfairly because of the colour of your skin, your disability, your faith, because you speak a different language or because you are male or female or gay/lesbian/bisexual
Neglect - this is when somebody who should help you doesn’t – they may not give you food, keep you safe, give you your medication or get you medical help.
Domestic abuse – this is when someone who is a close partner or family member abuses someone, including controlling, bullying, threatening behaviour, as well as all the types of abuse listed above.
Institutional - this is when people who are paid to look after you do not respect you if you are living in a care home, or in hospital, at a day centre or even in your own home. They may be unkind to you, ignore you or your wishes and not give you any choices. They may not have had the correct training or use the right equipment to look after you.
Modern slavery – this includes slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic slavery. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to bully, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and cruel treatment.
Self-neglect – this is when someone neglects to care for their own personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
Any of these forms of abuse can be either deliberate or be the result of ignorance, or lack of training, knowledge or understanding. Often if a person is being abused in one way they are also being abused in other ways.
Abuse can happen anywhere – a person’s home, a residential or nursing home, hospital, the workplace, a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street.
People can be vulnerable to abuse because of an illness or disability, such as people with a learning, sensory or physical disability, older people who depend on or need help from others and people with mental health problems or dementia.
The person who is responsible for the abuse is very often well known to the person being abused, for example a paid carer or volunteer, health or social worker, relative or friend.
We will listen to your concerns. You can talk to us about your own situation or about someone else you are worried about. You do not have to give your name. We will treat everything you say in the strictest confidence.
It is important to remember that if you are being abused, it is not your fault. Please don't worry about telling others that you think you are being abused - it is important that you get help. If you want, you can ask someone else to contact us on your behalf.
We may ask you some questions to ensure that we understand the circumstances fully. We will then advise you about what is likely to happen next. The Safeguarding Adults team will look into your concerns; this is a small team of senior social workers and support workers. They are all experienced in working with adults with care and support needs.
If you, or the person you are concerned about, are in critical danger, we will visit immediately and offer support to reduce the risks.
If you, or the person you are concerned about, are at substantial risk of harm, we will visit within 48 hours.
For other reports of abuse we will normally visit within five working days.
We will work with you, or the person you are concerned about, to help with making any decisions. We will provide help and support to try to end the abuse and make sure it does not happen again.
We will not normally share information with other people without the permission of the person who is being abused. The only exception to this is in situations where others may be at risk of abuse or the person is not able to make decisions for themselves.
If the abuse is also a crime such as assault, racial harassment, rape or theft you should involve the police to prevent someone else from being abused. If the police are involved we will work with them and with you to support you.
Below is a list of organisations and agencies that can provide help, support or advice on safeguarding vulnerable adults.
The Home Office produced a guide for keeping safe. It includes advice about answering the door to strangers, how to stay safe when out and about and in your own home.
Central Bedfordshire Council has also produced some top tips for managing your money (PDF 63KB).
If a person is unable to make a decision on their own and have no family or friends to help them, the NHS or council must appoint an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate to help and support that person. This is also the case if a person is unable to make a decision about safeguarding.
POhWER is the advocacy organisation and providers of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service for Bedfordshire.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence provides a lot of information for individuals, their families and carers, professionals and others about the IMCA process
For more information please visit our Advocacy page
Safeguarding adults Central Bedfordshire are coordinated by the Local Safeguarding Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. The role of the Board is to promote the safety of adults by developing robust multi-agency systems for the prevention and investigation of the abuse of adults.
You can read more about this board on our website.