News articles and updates

The below captures some of the latest articles, research and news that is relevant to Adult Safeguarding.

Charity warns of increased risk of elder abuse during coronavirus self-isolation

Hourglass logo

In an article by The National, the Hourglass charity – formerly known as Action on Elder Abuse –fears social distancing and self-isolation guidance means there is a “significant increased risk of abuse and neglect” to the older population as household tensions rise.

We all have a role to play in safeguarding adults at risk. During this pandemic, the Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board will be kept up to date with information which may be helpful to you directly or if you are trying to help someone else. It is vital that we all come together to support and protect those who are most vulnerable. People need to be encouraged to offer help to elderly and other vulnerable people in their neighbourhood using the precautions that government has outlined, to reduce transmission.

If you older person who is concerned that you may have been a target for abuse, or if you are worried about an older friend, neighbour or family member, you can also call The Hourglass Helpline on 0808 808 8141, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Trained and experienced staff and volunteers will listen to your concerns and provide suggestions and advice. The helpline is free to call and entirely confidential, and the number will not appear on your telephone bill. You can also email at helpline@wearehourglass.org

Lambeth Council also has a coronavirus helpline for people aged 70 or over and people of any age with the health conditions: 020 7926 2999 (The helpline is open from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday).

You can also sign up for email updates about coronavirus in Lambeth.

If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines (DBS)

Changes to DBS ID Checking

Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Update from Disclosure and Barring Service:

"Due to current measures that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re aware that organisations are having difficulty following the DBS ID checking guidance.

Currently, when validating ID documents, it is best practice to carry the examination out face-to-face with a live video link as an alternative method. Under the current guidance, the ID checker must be in physical possession of the original documents so they can be checked for indicators of fraud.

As the public is being advised to work from home where possible, this is causing difficulties in receiving the physical documents and is delaying applications, and in some cases, preventing applications from being submitted.

To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period.

The change will enable:

- ID documents to be viewed over video link

- scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted

Please note, the change should only be implemented for urgent cases where it is not possible to follow the normal identity checking guidelines. The applicant must present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.

The change will come into effect from 24 March 2020.

Please ensure that you follow the advice on GOV.UK around checking identity documents for indicators of fraud, which can be found here.

For more information about the changes, please contact customerservices@dbs.gov.uk

Support for survivors of Domestic Abuse; COVID-19

Gaia services in Lambeth

The Gaia Centre which supports Lambeth residents who are survivors of gender based violence, including domestic and sexual violence, are open and accepting referrals. They are providing 1:1 support via telephone and email during a time where survivors may feel additionally isolated and at risk due to coronavirus.

To make a referral or for a survivor to self-refer call: 020 7733 8724 or email lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk

For more information please see the Gaia Centre website.  

In an emergency call police on 999.

 

Be alert to COVID-19 scams

Friends Against Scams Guide

Be aware that opportunists and criminals can take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable who are self-isolating.

Most people offering to help elderly people in their neighbourhood are genuinely kind, honest and caring.  The elderly self-isolating will be stuck for food, supplies and someone to talk to if they don't have friends, family or a nearby neighbour that they already know.

However, some people may try to take advantage of the increased isolation faced by these vulnerable groups.

It is important to be aware of:

- People offering or selling virus testing kits (the NHS are NOT conducting any door-to-door testing - if anyone knocks on your door proclaiming to be conducting these tests, please call the police)

- Vaccines or miracle cures - there is currently no vaccine for coronavirus

- Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus, such as anti-bacterial gel

- Shopping or medication collection services - do not accept services from strangers who ask for cash up front or a credit card and its PIN.

- Home cleaning services

- Those looking to gain trust simply to execute a more elaborate scam e.g. to access savings. 

For a full list of identified COVID-19 scams, please visit the Friends Against Scams website.

Protect yourself and others:

- Don't be rushed into making a decision. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

- Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money and sharing personal information.

- Don't assume everyone is genuine. It's ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

- If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone tries to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers for help if you are unsure.

 

Scams can be hard to spot. But you can keep yourself and others safe by knowing the signs.

There are a number of resources available online to help in the fight against scams and financial abuse.

  • Download the Metropolitan Police’s Little Book of Big Scams, which outlines 10 Golden Rules to help beat scammers, information on what to do if you uncover a scam, and other useful contacts such as Royal Mail, the Mail Preference System or the Telephone Preference System.

  • Access support and advice through Think Jessica, a charity set up to raise awareness and campaign for change by making people aware of the danger and financial implications caused by postal and telephone scams

  • Complete a short online course and join Friends Against Scams

  • Find out about No Cold Calling Zones in Lambeth or find out how your street could become a No Cold Calling Zone.

  • Report scams and fraud to Action Fraud