Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy

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1 Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme Protective Marking Not Protectively Marked Publication Scheme Y/N Yes Title Safeguarding Adults at Risk Version 1 Summary The policy establishes clear guidelines and accountability for the investigation of Safeguarding Adults at Risk cases. Branch / OCU TP Crime Strategic Committee Author TP Crime CSU Service Delivery Team Date created June 2009 Review date June 2012 Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy Introduction This policy introduces an enhanced and prioritised procedure for the investigation of Safeguarding Adults at Risk cases to create a framework for all staff to provide an effective, professional and corporate level of service. The policy is owned in its entirety by the Violent Crime Directorate. The MPS is keen to ensure that not only does it maintain its commitment to London s diverse population with regard to the investigation of Safeguarding Adults at Risk incidents but also that the organisation builds on the work developed since the establishment of Community Safety Units (CSUs). This policy cancels previous item 11, Notices 48/2004. Application This policy applies with immediate effect. All police officers and police staff, including the extended police family and those working voluntarily or under contract to the MPA, must be aware of and are required to comply with all relevant MPS policy and associated procedures. However this policy applies in particular to officers and staff in the following roles: Police Officers and staff investigating Safeguarding Adults at Risk incidents Police officers and police staff supervisors Central Communications Command (CCC)

2 Crime Management Units Community Safety Units Criminal Investigations Priority Project (CIPP) Teams Forensic Services Police Liaison Officer (PLO) Criminal Justice Units Safer Neighbourhood Teams Borough Safer Neighbourhood Teams Crime Academy (SCD 20) Specialist Crime Directorate N.B This list is not exhaustive. Purpose 1. To ensure the safety and protection of adults at risk by providing a quality service to service users whether as employees, colleagues, victims, witnesses, strategic partners, etc. 2. To hold perpetrators of abuse accountable for their actions. Where criminal proceedings are deemed inappropriate to work with partnership agencies and identify courses of action. 3. To work in effective partnership with other agencies to safeguard adults at risk. Scope This policy applies to: Adults at risk who experience abuse or have been subject to a crime that has been perpetrated on them by a person: in a position of authority, or where there is an expectation of trust, or who has been providing them with care either in a care setting (e.g. care home, hospital) or in their own home or where the crime manager has particular concerns about the risk to or vulnerability of the victim or the impact of the incident on the community A vulnerable adult is defined, by the Department of Health, as: A person aged 18 years or over who is or may be at risk of abuse 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 This remains the legal definition however for every day use terminology which connects vulnerability to abuse with the person may be considered inappropriate. This SOP/ policy will therefore use the terminology Adults at Risk; wherever possible.

3 It should be recognised that there are several forms of abuse including physical, psychological, financial, sexual or neglect. These will often constitute criminal offences. Adults at risk who fall outside the scope of this policy must still be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Health No Secrets guidance (i.e. they must be referred into Local Authority Safeguarding Adult procedures). However the standard operating procedures attached to this policy, can be used as best practice. The following incidents are not covered by this Policy: Disability Targeted Hate Crime - managed under the current MPS Hate Crime Policy Domestic Violence - managed under the current Domestic Violence Policy It should be recognised that there are several forms of abuse including physical, psychological, financial, sexual or neglect. These will often constitute criminal offences. Offences committed against vulnerable adults that are not within the scope of this policy should still be flagged VA and the principles for joint investigative strategies adhered to. Policy Statement The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to the safeguarding of adults at risk. The MPS Safeguarding Adults at Risk Standard Operating Procedures must be adhered to by police officers and staff. In addition, every borough within the Metropolitan Police Area must have a policy/protocol in place involving local partner agencies, detailing local procedures for progressing allegations of abuse and crimes committed against adults at risk. Those policies/protocols must reflect and be in accordance with, the government publication 'No Secrets' (Department of Health March 2000). The borough Crime Manager has the responsibility for ensuring that a inter agency working policy is in place and that it is adhered to. These borough-working policies will also be reflective of bespoke borough procedures. This may be subject to change upon completion of Pan London Local authority procedures. The safety and welfare of the vulnerable person is of paramount importance. The purpose of local policy is to create an information sharing and decision making process with statutory partners that is bespoke, effective and efficient in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse. It must be noted that:

4 All allegations of abuse should be subject to a multi-agency response The MPS will also record all allegations falling within the definition The Community Safety Unit will only be responsible for the investigation of Safeguarding Adults at Risk cases contained within the scope of this policy, unless otherwise directed by the Borough Crime Manager. Benefits This policy seeks to professionalise and improve the quality of service delivery to adults at risk who are or suspected of being the victims of abuse/crime. It will provide a standardised approach across the MPS to the identification and management of Safeguarding Adults at Risk incidents, by issuing clear instructions to staff ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. The policy also seeks to develop good practice relating to the prevention and detection of crime. It will ensure that the MPS is legally compliant and is intended to increase the level of reporting, prosecution and monitoring of Safeguarding Adults at Risk cases. Furthermore, the policy s aim is to improve the response to Safeguarding Adults at Risk Incidents, the risk assessment and management of cases leading to the improved safety of victims. Responsibilities This policy is owned and approved by the Violent Crime Directorate. It is to be implemented by Operational Command Unit commanders. To be developed and reviewed by the CSU Service Delivery Team Associated Documents and Policies Safeguarding Adults at Risk Standard Operating Procedures Domestic Violence Policy Hate Crime Policy Minimum Standards for the Primary Investigation of Crime. Victims Code of Practice (VCoP) Instruction Department of Health s No Secrets

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