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Abuse ‘not swept under the carpet
10:33am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
NEW figures detailing the abuse of vulnerable adults show the problem is not being swept under the carpet, council bosses have claimed.
It follows the publication of the statistics which reveal several hundred people at risk of being abused are being referred to social services for help.
Bury Council received 71 referrals between April, 2006, and March, 2007, compared with 649 between April, 2011, and March, 2012. But service leaders say the number of people being abused is not necessarily rising.
A council spokesman said: “The rise is mainly due to much greater awareness raising of what safeguarding is, particularly among vulnerable people themselves.”
Four in five referrals are made by police, health workers or social workers.
The spokesman added: “As a result of us working closely with these groups, people have a better understanding of abuse and are being much more vigilant about it.
“These matters are not being ‘swept under the carpet’ and people now know how to make a referral when they have concerns. All referrals are followed up and it is pleasing that only about 11 per cent turn out to be substantiated. We would encourage people with concerns to continue to report them.”
The figures were presented to the council’s health scrutiny committee.
Of the referrals made in the 12 months up to March, 2012, 46 per cent of the reported abuse happened in the victim’s own home, while 37 per cent happened in a care home.
Most of the reported abuse — 35 per cent — was physical, while 24 per cent was neglect, 18 per cent financial, 16 per cent emotional, five per cent sexual, one per cent discrimination and one per cent was institutional abuse.
The report says: “Where appropriate, a full investigation is carried out. Not everyone accepts help.”
Of the 131 reports investigated, 73 were either fully or partly substantiated.
David Hanley, the independent chairman of Bury Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “The report shows progress has been made.There is still much more to do as some abuse goes unreported.”
Abuse can be reported by calling Bury adult services’ on 0161 253 5151.