Protecting vulnerable adults in Falkirk from harm

Organisations across Falkirk are raising awareness of the different ways vulnerable adults may be at risk of harm, and how to report concerns if you think something isn’t right.

Marking National Adult Support and Protection Awareness Day (Tuesday 20 February), teams across Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, Falkirk Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue, and third sector organisations are encouraging people to say something if they see something that isn’t right.

This years’ awareness day theme highlights the emerging and growing issue of ‘sextortion’ scams, which involve fraudsters using the threat of sharing sexual information, photos, or videos to demand money or pressure people into sending further information.

Gemma Ritchie, Adult Support and Protection Lead, Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, explains: “Harm can happen anywhere – in someone’s home, where they work, or in a public place and can take many forms. Whether it be physical, psychological, financial, or sexual harm, unfortunately it is often caused by people closest to the vulnerable individual.

“This years’ theme of sextortion shows the new ways criminals can use personal information and relationships to control behaviour or cause financial harm. It is a form of blackmail which can have devasting consequences, but victims of this type of crime should know that judgement-free support is available.”

Anyone can be a victim of crime or harm, but organisers of the awareness day want people to look out especially for those who are more at risk because of their physical or mental health condition, illness, reliance on others for care, or experience of previous trauma.

It’s important to speak up about any concerns you have, as the person may not be able to do so themselves.

Brenda Walker, National Adult Support and Protection Coordinator for Scotland, adds: “It can be difficult to know what to do when you’re worried about someone, and you might feel you don’t want to interfere. However, reporting concerns could really help keep someone safe and turn their life around.

“The current cost of living crisis is making it even more difficult for those looking after others, or struggling to take care of themselves, so it’s more important right now to keep your eyes open for signs of harm. Everyone has a role to play in keeping those in their communities safe, so I would encourage anyone who has seen something that worries them to please say something.”

Further information on adult protection, including local contacts if you are worried about someone at risk of harm or neglect can be found on the Act Against Harm website, Alternatively, concerns can be reported to the Police on 101. If someone is in immediate danger, phone 999.

To follow the National Adult Support and Protection Awareness campaign, use the hashtags #ASPD2024 or #SeenSomethingSaySomething on social media.

Useful links

If you believe someone is in immediate danger, phone 999.x