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Protecting adults from abuse

What is abuse?

Abuse is behaviour that can lead to harm or distress; for example hitting, pushing, bullying, stealing, neglect, or sexual activity without consent. It can happen to both men and women, in many different places.

It is carried out by different people, but it's often someone known and trusted.

Recognise it and report it

If you think someone is being abused or you think their safety is at risk, then it is important to report your concerns to a county council social work team.

You must never assume that somebody else will recognise and report what you have seen or heard.

Where a crime has been committed or if you're worried about someone's immediate safety, contact the police by dialling 999.

If your concern is regarding a child, please visit our First Response page for instructions on how to contact the correct team.



Reporting abuse of an adult

To report concerns about an adult please:

Phone: 0345 604 2719
Monday - Thursday* 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
*Excludes Bank Holidays

Out of hours: 0345 604 2886 (for emergencies only)

A trained member of staff will be available between 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday-Thursday and 08:30am - 4:30pm on Fridays (excluding Bank Holidays).

To report a concern outside of these hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Service.

For further guidance on reporting abuse of an adult please see the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Adult Safeguarding Board website.

Adult safeguarding procedures

The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Adult Safeguarding Enquiry procedures provide guidance on how the abuse of adults with care and support needs will be responded to.

The Care Act 2014 establishes a duty on local authorities to make enquiry to decide whether action should be taken whenever it appears that an adult with care and support needs is experiencing abuse or is at risk of abuse.

These procedures relate to matters concerning the abuse and exploitation and are not invoked simply in response to a perception of general vulnerability.

For further information on the Adult Safeguarding Procedures please see the  Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Adult Safeguarding Board website.



Emergency Duty Service

If you have a concern about the safety of a  vulnerable adult and need to report it overnight, over a weekend or on a Bank Holiday, contact the Emergency Duty Service:

Phone: 0345 604 2886
Fax: 01785 277321
07815 492613



Can I remain anonymous?

You will be asked about your own details but as a member of the public, you can choose to remain anonymous.

What will happen after I've reported my concerns?

What happens next depends on the seriousness of the situation.

In response to a call, trained staff will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry in line with locally agreed procedures.

The information provided will be discussed with other agencies including the police. 

Meetings may be held to decide what will happen next. Information and advice will be offered so that choices can be made and help can be provided.

Further information

These telephone numbers may be useful:

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