Help keep vulnerable adults and children safe from harm

Abuse can happen anywhere, by anyone. Some forms of abuse and neglect are obvious. Others are hidden. You can help by spotting and reporting any signs of neglect or exploitation of children or adults at risk.
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Signs that an adult may be being abused

Everyone is different, but some of the typical behavioural signs of adult neglect can include:
  • becoming quiet and withdrawn
  • being upset or angry for no obvious reason
  • looking unkempt, dirty or thinner than usual
  • sudden changes in character such as appearing helpless, depressed or tearful
  • physical signs such as bruises, wounds, fractures or other untreated injuries
  • the same injuries happening more than once
  • not wanting to be left by themselves or alone with particular people
  • being unusually light-hearted and insisting there's nothing wrong.

Who to contact if you are worried about an adult

There are people who can help – please contact:

Call 0345 045 5202  - 8am to 6pm weekdays, 9am to 1pm Saturday

Call 01733 234 724 - outside office hours


If someone is in immediate danger call 999.

Signs that a child may be being abused

Signs of child neglect can include:

  • poor appearance and hygiene - they may smell or appear dirty have unwashed clothes or seem hungry
  • have health or development problems - such as untreated or repeated injuries, poor muscle tone, thin or swollen stomach, tiredness or faltering weight or growth
  • housing and family issues - living in an unsuitable home, being left alone for a long period of time, taking on the role of carer for other family members.

Who to contact if you are worried about a child

There are people who can help – please contact:

Call 0345 045 5203 - 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday  

Call 01733 234 724 - Out of office hours


If someone is in immediate danger call 999.

If you have any concerns about and adult at risk or a child, please report it. You could help prevent further abuse. 

If contact is made early enough, it might be possible to prevent harm of a child or adult from taking place.

What will happen when you report your concerns

When you report your concerns, children or adults’ services will:
  • respond professionally and sensitively and take your concerns seriously
  • talk to the police if a crime may have been committed
  • provide help and support, and take action to end the abuse and try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again
  • talk to other agencies that need to be involved
  • work to keep the child or adult safe.
Last checked 17 March 21

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