Reporting abuse of vulnerable adults or children
If you're in any way worried about the welfare of a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, please report it. If you feel someone is unable to make decisions for themselves and is likely to remain at risk of abuse, or you yourself are being abused, you should:
Contact the council:
- If the person is an adult call the Adult Social Care First Response Team on 01925 443322
- If the person is a child call the Children's Safeguarding/Social Work Team on 01925 443400
- Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
Or the police:
- Ring 101, or in emergencies outside of office hours ring 01925 652222
- In serious situations where someone is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, report the matter to the police immediately by dialling 999.
It's really important that you tell us, or the police, so that we can make sure the person is safe.
If you're a teacher, doctor, nurse, youth worker, etc, please use the multi-agency request for services (MARS) form to refer a child or young person who you think may be vulnerable or at risk. Please send your completed form from a secure email address e.g. GCSx/nhs.net/pnn.police/cjsm.
- Multi-agency request for services (MARS) form [pdf]
- MARS guidance note [pdf] will help you fill in the form
Spotting signs of abuse in children
The council is supporting a Department for Education nationwide campaign to encourage members of the public to report child abuse to get help to children more quickly, and to make it normal practice to report it. To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect, look for changes in:
- Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or parents regularly collecting children from school when drunk
- Behaviour - such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired
- Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient
Spotting signs of abuse in adults
Signs can include changes in:
- Behaviour - becoming quiet or withdrawn, aggressive or angry, depressed or tearful. Or they may become unusually light-hearted and insist there's nothing wrong. They might not want to be left on their own, or alone with particular people.
- Appearance - looking unkempt, dirty or thinner than usual
- Physical - bruises, wounds, fractures or other injuries, particularly if they're untreated or the same injuries are happening more than once
- Home - it may lack heat, be unusually dirty or untidy, or you might notice things missing.
- Finances - not having as much money as usual to pay for shopping or regular outings, getting into debt, receiving official or financial documents that seem unusual, documents relating to their finances that suddenly go missing
Domestic abuse affects the whole family. Don't suffer in silence, talk to someone that can help: Domestic abuse support services