News articles and updates

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

Scams Awareness Month

Scams Awareness

July is Scams Awareness Month. This campaign is led by Citizen’s Advice and Trading Standards Services, and aims to give people the skills and confidence to identify scams, share experiences and take action by reporting suspicious activity.

As mentioned in our last post on the new guidance on financial abuse, issued by ADASS, internet scams, postal scams and doorstep crime are often directed at adults at risk, with fraudsters often targeting older and disabled people. These people may be particularly vulnerable to financial abuse.

Financial abuse includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with financial matters, or the misuse of someone else's finances. Financial abuse was the second highest recorded category of abuse in Lambeth 2016/17, accounting for 13% of all safeguarding concerns.

Scams can be hard to spot, but you can keep yourself and others safe by knowing the signs. A scammer might try to pressure you in to making a decision on the spot or to pay up front, or they might ask you to share to personal details with them.

Someone you know might be being targeted if they have letters piling up, are having lots of different items delivered, are anxious when the phone rings, or get a lot of phone calls, or become secretive when discussing finances.

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

The LSAB Community Reference Group is also planning an event to help raise awareness of financial abuse. It is hoped that this event will take place in December 2017 – please keep an eye on our training and events page for further updates on this event.

ADASS guidance on how to protect adults at risk from financial abuse


The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have issued guidance on financial abuse and scams aimed at all those working within adult social care. The guidance outlines the effects of scams on the individual and includes tips for practitioners on how to spot the signs that someone may be responding to scams, how to talk to them and how to prevent further abuse.

Internet scams, postal scams and doorstep crime are often targeted at adults at risk, with fraudsters often targeting older and disabled people; the average age of a victim is 75. Victims of scams are victims of financial abuse.

The top tips highlighted in the guidance are divided in to different sections in order to address different roles within adult social care, including social workers, councillors, managers, and directors. The guidance recommends that those working within these roles:

  • Ensure that you are aware of scams
  • Work together to tackle scams and protect victims
  • Put in preventative measures (prevention is better than cure)
  • Be able to look out for signs of someone who may be responding to scams
  • Know how to talk to potential victims of scams
  • Know how to take appropriate action to prevent further financial abuse
  • Know about issues of mental capacity, unwise decisions and cognitive impairment

The guidance breaks down each of these aims in further detail. The full guidance is available on the ADASS website.

The guidance also recommends online training available at

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - 15 June 2017

WEAAD 2017

The United Nation’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day takes place on 15th June 2017. On this day, the whole world comes together to speak out against the abuse and neglect of older generations.

Elder abuse involves physical assault, sexual assault and harassment, coercion, threats and intimidation, theft and fraud, and neglect.

Action on Elder Abuse is a UK-wide charity that aims to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older people. They are seeking the introduction of elder abuse legislation for the UK that would introduce a criminal offence of elder abuse and create mandatory reporting, amongst other measures. This is important because in the UK alone between 500,000 and 800,000 older people are abused in their own homes each year, often by people known or related to them. Furthermore, the number of older people in our population is set to rise significantly to around 19m in just over 30 years, with an increasing number of ‘very’ old people. In Lambeth alone, the population aged 60+ is projected to grow by a quarter in the next 10 years, compared to a 10% growth across the whole population.

Action on Elder Abuse estimate that no more than 1 in 10 cases reach the attention of adult safeguarding services. This is despite the fact that older people represent a growing percentage of those referrals: People aged 60+ accounted for 67% of all safeguarding concerns received by Lambeth Adult Social Care in 2016/17.

The Lambeth Safeguarding Adult’s Board supports the petition by Action on Elder Abuse to make elder abuse a criminal offence so that perpetrators can be brought to justice and older victims and their families can be confident that their suffering will be taken seriously. Please lend your support by signing this petition. 

If you have a safeguarding concern about the abuse or neglect of an older person, or any adult at risk, you can report this to Lambeth Adult Social Care using our online form or by contacting the Initial Contact Service; please call 0207 926 5555 or email

Alternatively, Action on Elder Abuse has a national freephone helpline open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, offering confidential support and information: 080 8808 8141.

Using the Mental Capacity Act in the community

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is a law that protects and supports people who do not have the ability to make decisions for themselves. It also provides guidance to support people who need to make decisions on behalf of someone else.

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRHC) have produced a new training film aimed at health and social care professionals and carers. The film aims to explain the importance of consent to treatment in a simple ‘show how to know how’ format, and uses possible scenarios to demonstrate the process for applying the MCA and  making a decision in a person's best interests. 

For more information about the film, visit the HRHC website.