Locals urged to speak out about neglect

Angus Council’s Angus Adult Protection Committee is urging residents to act on their instinct if they think an adult is being harmed, neglected or taken advantage of.

Adult harm can take many forms such as physical, psychological, financial and sexual harm and neglect. Getting complete statistics on the prevalence of adult harm in Scotland is difficult, and the full picture is unclear.

In Angus during 2013/14, 345 referrals were received with 58 resulting in investigations.

Angus Council Convener of Social Work and Health, Glennis Middleton said: “Adult harm can affect anybody, but people who can’t look after or stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk, whether through factors such as personal circumstances, physical or learning disability, age or illness and injury.

“We all have a duty to look out for people not just in our communities, but also in care and hospital settings.

“People often have an instinctual feeling that someone is being harmed or is at risk; a sense that something is not right. By acting on this they could help a person who is at risk to overcome the situation and become safe from harm.”

Angus Adult Protection Committee Independent Chair, Margaret Wells commented: “I would encourage people to raise concerns they may have about anybody at risk in Angus no matter where they are staying.

“We know sometimes people don’t want to get involved for fear of getting people into trouble but it is vital that they do raise concerns with their local council. And it is safe to do so – you don’t need to provide your personal details and the authorities will check the situations sensitively and support will be given, if needed.

“The message is simple – if you think an adult is at risk of harm and something feels wrong, you’re right to get it checked out. If you see something, say something.”

Residents with any concerns are asked to contact the council’s ACCESSLine on 08452 77 77 78.

Angus Council is supporting the Scottish Government Adult Support and Protection campaign which is aimed at raising awareness of adult harm and encouraging people to act on their gut feeling that someone may be experiencing harm or is at risk of it.