Abuse Against a Vulnerable Adult

Bedfordshire Police works closely with partner agencies in the prevention and protection from abuse of vulnerable adults. We take these incidents very seriously and are committed to catching and prosecuting those that abuse vulnerable adults.

The local authority will co-ordinate investigations into the abuse and Bedfordshire Police is responsible for investigating criminal offences with experienced, specialist trained, dedicated officers.

Who is a Vulnerable Adult?

A vulnerable adult is described as a person aged 18 years or over, who is in receipt of or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

What Type of Abuse Takes Place?

Physical - any deliberate act to cause physical harm including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication or restraint.

Financial or Material - theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or misusing property, possessions and benefits.

Sexual - involvement in a sexual act to which the vulnerable person has not consented, or to which he or she could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

Neglect and Acts of Omission - ignoring medical or physical care needs and withholding the necessities of life such as nutrition, heating and medication.

Psychological - emotional abuse, threats to harm or abandon the person, depriving them of contact, humiliating, blaming, controlling, intimidating, coercing or harassing them, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawing services and support networks.

Discriminatory – based on cultural, sexual, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Institutional - Mistreatment or abuse by an organisation or the individuals within it.

Domestic - any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (including any of the above) occurring between adults who are or have been in an intimate relationship or are family members – regardless of gender or sexuality.

Where Does the Abuse Take Place?

Abuse can occur anywhere including:

  • Own home
  • A carers home
  • Day care
  • Residential care
  • Nursing home
  • Hospital

Who Abuses?

An abuser is usually known to the person being abused and can include:

  • Partner, child, relative
  • Friend/neighbour
  • Paid/volunteer worker
  • Health/social worker or other professional

What to do if you or someone you know is being abused

In an emergency call 999.

In a non emergency contact 101 and tell the operator about the suspected abuse who will forward the details to the relevant department, which will be in contact.

To report the abuse confidentially online fill out this form