Everyone is entitled to live their life in safety without being mistreated, hurt or exploited by others. Some people's situations may make them more vulnerable and less able to protect themselves from harm or mistreatment.
Rochdale Adult Care Service is strongly committed to ensuring that adults at risk in the Borough of Rochdale are protected from abuse and neglect and that this is prevented wherever possible. Social workers and other experienced staff are responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect.
Safeguarding Adults is everyone's business and it's essential that everyone is alert to the possibility of abuse and neglect and reports it as soon as possible if they suspect it's happening.
The Care Act 2014 introduced the following statutory duties for safeguarding adults:
- Make enquiries, or ensure others do so, if it believes an adult is/ or is at risk of abuse or neglect.
- An enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to stop or prevent abuse or neglect and if so, by whom.
- Set up a Safeguarding Adults Board.
- Arrange, where appropriate, for an independent advocate to represent and support an adult who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or Safeguarding Adult Review where the adult has 'substantial difficulty' in being involved in the process and where there is no other appropriate adult to help them.
- Co-operate with each of its relevant partners, for example, police, NHS in order to protect adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect.
Mistreating someone who is vulnerable is known as 'abuse'.
Failing to look after a vulnerable person in your care is known as 'neglect'.
Both abuse and neglect of vulnerable people is never acceptable.
People are often more vulnerable as:
- They get older
- Because they have a mental health problem
- Due to a disability
- Due to a sensory impairment
- If they have some form of illness
Abuse may be:
- Physical or sexual
- Involve people taking money without permission
- Not looking after someone properly
- Bullying or humiliating
- Not allowing contact with friends and family
Abuse can occur anywhere. People can be abused at home, in care or nursing homes, day centres, or any place the adult should be safe.
Anyone can be an abuser – relatives, partners, people paid to provide care and services, volunteers, neighbours, friends or strangers. Most abusers are people close to the adult, who are loved and trusted by them. However, some people will deliberately abuse adults they see as an easy target.
Abuse can be the result of a single act or may continue over months or years, abuse can be accidental, or a deliberate act.
If you're at risk or you suspect another person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999 and speak to the police. All calls concerning worries about vulnerable adults are treated seriously.
To report a non-urgent case of abuse of vulnerable adults who are 18 and over, contact Rochdale Adult Care Service:
- Telephone: 0300 303 8886 (Weekdays 8.30am to 4.45pm) or
- Telephone: 0300 303 8875 (Emergency Duty Team out of hours; including bank holidays)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - please give as much information as possible, including contact details.
Alternatively you can call Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050.
You can also share your concerns with your doctor, housing officers, nurse or social worker and they can report your concerns to Adult Care Services on your behalf.
The person you are concerned about may not be able to report the abuse or neglect themselves and may rely on you to voice your concerns.
When you report your concerns you will be asked for some basic information about the person you are concerned about, for example:
- The person’s name, address and date of birth
- What you've been told, heard or seen
- What you suspect
- Who else you have informed
You will also be asked:
- Your name - this will not be shared without your permission
- Your contact details, so that you can be kept informed
The member of staff you report your concerns to will explain to you what happens next.
For further information Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board website (external link) provides up-to-date information for professionals, adults at risk and their families.
If you’re in an emergency situation and need police help, but can’t speak, Make Yourself Heard and let the 999 operator know your call is genuine.
Silent Solutions is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an emergency. When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to audibly signal to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system. If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
For further information see the Silent Solutions guide (external link)
If you're at risk or you suspect another person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999 and speak to the police.
Hate crimes and hate incidents are acts of violence or hostility directed against individuals or groups of people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
Anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. For example, you may have been targeted because someone thought you were gay even though you're not, or because you have a disabled child.
Greater Manchester Police also recognises alternative sub-culture hate incidents. These are incidents based on someone's appearance, including:
Hate crimes can be committed against a person or their property.
Hate crimes and incidents can hurt people; they can be confusing and frightening and by reporting them when they happen to you, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crimes in your local area so they can better respond to them.
Reporting makes a difference to you, your friends, and your life
All hate crimes and incidents should be reported, whether you've been a victim, a witness, or you're reporting on behalf of someone else.
If you're being continually harassed and experience more than one hate incident, it's best to report all the hate incidents you experience, this will help the police get the full picture of what you are experiencing. If you're in this situation, it may be a good idea to keep a record of the incidents to help you when you contact the police.
A hate incident that's a criminal offence is known as a hate crime. A criminal offence is where someone breaks the law.
Any criminal offence can be a hate crime if it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on:
- Transgender identity
- Sexual orientation
When something is classed as a hate crime, the judge can impose a tougher sentence on the offender under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Hate crimes can include:
- Threatening behavior
- Damage to property
- Inciting others to commit hate crimes
Even if you are unsure you have been a victim of a Hate Crime it is important to speak to someone.
You can report a Hate Crime to any of these agencies:
- Emergency – In an emergency you should phone 999
- Greater Manchester Police – You can phone Greater Manchester Police on 101 or you can go to any police station in the borough
If you don’t want to call the Police you can report online on the True Vision website (external link) where you can report on line or down load a reporting form which can be sent to your local police station
Once you report a hate crime it will be forwarded to Rochdale Police Station where it will be recorded and passed on to a Police Officer in your local area to deal with. The Police Officer will contact you and ask for further details and discuss the options available. If you don’t want any action taken and simply want the matter recorded, that’s no problem. If you want the matter investigated the Police Officer will explain the options that are available dependent on your specific complaint.
Staying safe in your own home is especially important if you or someone you live with struggles with a health problem which can make you more vulnerable to crime.
Unfortunately there are some people out there who are only too happy to take advantage of a person less able to defend themselves.
These are some of the things you can do to keep your home safe:
- Fit external lights - having external lights fitted that turn on when someone walks by allows you to see who is around your property and can deter any trespassers.
- Fit locks to your windows and remember to close and lock all your windows when you go out and before you go to bed.
- Keep front and back doors locked - even when you are at home.
- Buy a fire extinguisher - especially important if you or someone you live with has a memory problem.
- Don't keep lots of money in your home - keep your money in a bank account. If necessary, ask a friend or family member to drive you to a cash machine once or twice a week to withdraw money as you need it.
- Install security systems and alarms - that will alert you if someone is in the house.
- Install gadgets such as telecare and emergency alarms in your home - which can quickly alert someone who will be able to assist you in an emergency.
- Find out if there is a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area and how you can get involved on the ourwatch.org.uk website (external link)
- Put a door viewer or peephole in the front door so you can see visitors before opening the door. If you do not recognise a visitor keep the chain on the door until they have identified themselves, they should be able to produce an ID card with a photograph and the contact details of the company they work for.
- Be wary of sales people offering 'special deals' or putting pressure on you to give them money or a cheque at the door.
Bogus callers or doorstep thieves are people who trick their way into people's homes with the intention of stealing money or property.
These people often work in teams of 2 or more and usually prey on people who are elderly or vulnerable. Bogus callers use many different guises to gain entry to your home, often pretending to be council officials, workmen from the gas or water board or even the police. Most official companies will send you a letter first before calling to your property and you can ask your gas, water or electricity supplier to give you a unique password for additional security.
If you're in any doubt about the person on your doorstep then remember the following advice:
- Use your door-chain or door-bar when answering the door and install a door viewer and an outside light.
- Ask to see the caller's identity card and check it thoroughly. If you feel unsure, ask the caller to wait on the doorstep while you phone the company to check.
- Lock the door while you go and phone and don't open it until you're totally convinced. Anyone who is genuine will not mind you doing this.
- Ask them to return at an agreed day and time when you have someone with you. Don't let callers put pressure on you to let them in.
- If in doubt - keep them out.
- If you're suspicious, call the police.
Bogus workmen may try to carry out unnecessary repairs on your home and can be quite persistent and convincing. If a workman says you need repairs tell them you will get some quotes for the work from other companies and that you will get back to them.
Rochdale Borough Council is working with Greater Manchester Police, the probation service and other agencies under the banner of the Community Safety Partnership to protect people in the borough.
If you're faced with abuse or rowdy neighbours, vandalism or damage, report it as it can ruin lives and make whole areas feel unsafe. We'll keep all the information you provide confidential, keep you regularly informed about progress with your case and try to put plans in place to prevent it from happening again.
You can report anti-social behaviour by completing an online form.
Report anti-social behaviour (external link)
Tips on how to protect your vehicle
- Think about where you park - thieves prefer dimly-lit places with few passers-by. Choose a brightly-lit street or properly managed car park.
- If you have a garage, use it.
- Always close the windows and lock the doors.
- Remove any valuables from your vehicle, always remove satellite navigations, their cradles and rub off sucker marks on the windscreen.
- If fitted with a removable radio or front panel, always remove and take with you.
- Use a steering lock.
- If possible, have an engine immobiliser and car alarm fitted with a visible warning light.
- Remember, on frosty mornings don't leave your car unattended with the engine running whilst it defrosts.
The Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board exists to ensure that all agencies work together to minimise the risk of abuse and to protect adults at risk effectively when abuse has occurred or may have occurred. The Board is committed to learning from experience and to a process of continuous improvement.
The Board has four main functions:
- To set and own the strategic direction for multi- agency developments, improvements in practice and local safeguarding arrangements.
- To ensure common policies for safeguarding exist between agencies and that these are consistently applied.
- To share and disseminate information on national, regional and local developments and to share learning from Safeguarding Adults reviews and national enquiries.
- To work together to deliver shared objectives, agree standards and safeguarding arrangements, address poor standards of care and protect Rochdale resident’s from harm which threatens safety, independence and well-being.
The Board is a statutory body under the requirements of the Care Act 2014.
The Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board (RBSAB) is a partnership of statutory and non-statutory organisations and is committed to Safeguarding Adults and will continue to work towards establishing a society where there is zero tolerance to adult abuse.
The vision of the Board is that agencies who support people at risk of harm have a culture that promotes good practice within services, raises public awareness to prevent abuse happening, act swiftly when it does and puts the person at the centre of planning to help them achieve good outcomes to ensure that people feel safe in their homes and communities.
To find out more about the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board visit the RBSAB website (external link)