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1.5 Specific Types of Abuse and Related Issues


Safeguarding Adults


Safeguarding Adults Procedures

May 2018: Section 18, Modern Slavery was added and Section 5, Radicalisation and Section 9, Hate Crime have been updated and the latest MAPPPA guidance from the Ministry of Justice added in Section 10, Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements.

1. Honour Based Violence

‘Honour’ based violence is a crime, and referring to the police must always be considered. It has or may have been committed when families feel that dishonour has been brought to them. Women are predominantly (but not exclusively) the victims and the violence is often committed with a degree of collusion from family members and/or the community.

Many of these victims will contact the police or other organisations. However, many others are so isolated and controlled that they are unable to seek help.

Referrals that may indicate honour-based violence include domestic abuse and violence, concerns about forced marriage, enforced house arrest and missing person’s reports. If a concern is raised through a safeguarding adults referral, and there is a suspicion that the adult is the victim of honour based violence, referring to the police must always be considered as they have the necessary expertise to manage the risk.

2. Female Genital Mutilation

See also:

Female Genital Mutilation: Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines, Home Office and Department for Education, 2014.

Female Genital Mutilation Prevention Programme: Requirements for NHS staff: Statement by the Department of Health and NHS England.

Leicster, Leicestershire and Rutland SCB Multi-Agency Procedures: 2.20 Safeguarding Children at Risk of Abuse through Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. The Female Genital Mutilation Act (FGMA) was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004. The Act makes it illegal to practise FGM in the UK or to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in another country. It also makes it illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad.

In relation to adults NHS England states: ‘There is no requirement for automatic referral of adult women with FGM to adult social services or the police. Healthcare professionals should be aware that a disclosure may be the first time that a woman has discussed her FGM with anyone. Referral to the police must not be introduced as an automatic response when identifying adult women with FGM, and each case must continue to be individually assessed. The healthcare professional should seek to support women by offering referral to community groups for support, clinical intervention or other services as appropriate, for example through an NHS FGM clinic. The wishes of the woman must be respected at all times. If she is pregnant, the welfare of her unborn child or others in her extended family must also be considered at this point as they are potentially at risk and action must be taken accordingly.’

The NHS link above also includes information about the mandatory reporting programme for all cases of FGM. It is now mandatory to record FGM in a patient’s healthcare record and submit anonymised monthly data to the Department of Health.

3. Forced Marriage

The Right to Choose: Multi-agency Statutory Guidance for Dealing with Forced Marriage, HM Government, 2014

Multi-agency Practice Guidelines: Handling Cases of Forced Marriage, HM Government, 2014

Forced Marriage, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office, 2013

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland SCB Multi-Agency Procedures: 2.15 Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without their consent or against their will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party in identifying a spouse.

In a situation where there is concern that an adult is being forced into a marriage they do not or cannot consent to, there will be an overlap between action taken under the forced marriage provisions and the safeguarding adults process. In this case action will be coordinated with the police and other relevant organisations.

The police must always be contacted in such cases as urgent action may need to be taken.

4. Human Trafficking

See also:

Human trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.

If an identified victim of human trafficking is also an adult who is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect, the response will be coordinated under the safeguarding adults process. The police are the lead agency in managing responses to adults who are the victims of human trafficking.

There is a national framework to assist in the formal identification and help to coordinate the referral of victims to appropriate services, known as the National Referral Mechanism.

Staff with concerns should contact Leicestershire Police via 101.

5. Radicalisation

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups. There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.

Individuals may be susceptible to recruitment into violent extremism by radicalisers. Violent extremists often use a persuasive rationale and charismatic individuals to attract people to their cause. The aim is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits, embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals of the legitimacy of their cause.

This can put a young person or adult at risk of being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to cause significant harm. Children, young people and adults may become vulnerable to exposure to, or involvement with, groups or individuals who advocate violence as a means to a political or ideological end.

5.1 How people can be radicalised

  • accessing, and engaging with, propaganda material that they find on or offline, which promotes and spreads messages of hate or discourages peace;
  • misunderstanding or holding a misguided view of other people and communities, religious scriptures and texts or political manifestos and policies;
  • feeling resentment, jealousy, anger or a sense of injustice towards another individual, a group of people, or against a political or religious group.

5.2 Things to consider before assuming that somebody has been radicalised

Holding different views, whether they be religious, social or political, does not mean that somebody is radical. The concern is when somebody with an extreme view acts, or intends to act, upon their view/s in a way that is harmful to themselves or others. You should always use your professional judgment and, if you are in any doubt, seek advice.

The PREVENT strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of the Government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of the PREVENT strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 enforces this aim as the need to “PREVENT people from being drawn into terrorism”.

At the heart of PREVENT is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

The Channel process is a key element of the Prevent Strategy. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation using collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners, the police and local community to:

  • identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • develop the most appropriate support plan for the individual concerned under provisions in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

5.3 Referral process

The referral process for adults who have needs for care and support whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs and is at risk of radicalisation:

  • a safeguarding referral should be made as outlined in the Safeguarding Adults Procedures;
  • if the referral also identifies concerns or risks of radicalisation the local authority is advised to discuss the referral with the PREVENT lead and make a separate Referral.

In all cases the Channel chair will identify whether or not a representative from adult social care will be required at the Panel. If there is no further action the feedback will be given to the referring agency and advice given appropriately. If there are continuing safeguarding needs identified at the Panel, a further referral will be made to adult social care at the earliest opportunity.

If you have any concerns please call 101 and ask for the Prevent Team. This will take the caller through to the Police’s Prevent team who can make an initial assessment of the details.

See also:

6. Abuse by another Adult

Where the person causing the harm is also an adult who is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect, the safety of the person who may have been abused is paramount. Organisations may also have responsibilities towards the person causing the harm, and certainly will have if they are both in a care setting or have contact because they attend the same place (for example, a day centre). In this situation it is important that the needs of the adult who is the alleged victim are addressed separately from the needs of the person allegedly causing harm.

It may be necessary to reassess the adult allegedly causing the harm. This will involve a meeting where the following could be addressed:

  • the extent to which the person causing the harm is able to understand his or her actions;
  • the extent to which the abuse or neglect reflects the needs of the person causing the harm not being met (e.g. risk assessment recommendations not being met);
  • the likelihood that the person causing the harm will further abuse the victim or others.

The principles and responsibilities of reporting a crime apply regardless of whether the person causing harm is deemed to be an adult.

7. Personal Budgets and Self-directed Care

Increasingly people are deciding to use less traditional ways of having their eligible social care and health care needs met. Many are taking the opportunity to exercise greater choice and control over what kinds of services they receive, who provides them and the way in which they are delivered. This revolution brings with it opportunities and challenges from the perspective of risk enablement and safeguarding.

Regardless of the person’s preferred method of managing a personal budget (for example, council managed account, direct payment, individual service account or a combination of these), the local authority still retains its duty of care with regard to the person and their protection from abuse. However, the balance of power and consequently how risk is managed can be significantly different from previous, traditional, models of social care management. This model is more about the co-production of risk enablement, with the person having a greater say and therefore greater control over how risk is managed. This is therefore an inherently less risk averse arrangement than before.

Throughout the process, from self-assessment (supported or otherwise) through to personal budget setting, arranging direct payments or other personal budget management arrangements, to final sign off of a care and support plan, appropriate risk assessment should be taking place with the individual and their supporters.

At the various key stages in the process, risk and safety should be considered.

  • Self-assessment: Initial identification of any safeguarding issues, either one off or ongoing. If these needs are being met, how is this being done? If they are not being met, they need to be clearly identified.
  • Budget-setting: If significant safeguarding risks are identified as unmet needs, will the amount of the personal budget be sufficient to reduce or mitigate them?
  • Support planning: How will the support plan meet the safeguarding needs in outcome terms? What services are best suited to meet the person’s needs and how will they be delivered in a person centred way?
  • Sign-off: Authorisation of the support to ensure it is legal, safe and affordable.

In this arrangement people using personal budgets, to a greater or lesser degree, are the commissioners of their own services, particularly where they are using direct payments to manage them.

Different arrangements exist to support people through the process of setting up a care and support package. In some areas this may be the responsibility of local authority adult social care staff, independent brokerage services or user led organisations (ULOs). The kinds of support available may include:

  • advice about safe recruitment;
  • advice about safeguarding and dignity;
  • using approved or accredited providers of services;
  • employment advice and services;
  • advice and support in relation to the quality of services;
  • contractual issues.

It should be remembered that, where someone has capacity to make their own decisions in these matters, they may choose not to seek or use such advice or support services. This does not necessarily have a detrimental impact on the legality or safety of the support plan.

People with personal budgets and care and support plans which utilise direct payments are subject to the same reviewing arrangements as those in receipt other services (that is a minimum of once per year).

8. Those who fund their own Care Arrangements

People who fund their own care arrangements (also known as self-funders) are legally entitled to receive support if subject to abuse or neglect in exactly the same way as those supported or funded by the local authority.

9. Hate Crime

A hate crime is any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s:

  • disability;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sexual orientation;
  • transgender identity;
  • alternative sub-culture.

Hate crime can take many forms including:

  • physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson;
  • threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints;
  • verbal abuse, insults or harassment taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace.

See also local information about reporting hated crime:

Definition of alternative sub-culture: Alternative sub-culture means a discernible group that is characterised by a strong sense of collective identity and values and taste, for example Goths, Emos, Punks, Metallers and some variants of hippy and dance culture.

10. Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

See also MAPPA Guidance, Ministry of Justice (2017)

The purpose of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework is to reduce the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders in order to protect the public, including previous victims, from serious harm. The responsible authorities in respect of MAPPA are the police, prison and probation services who have a duty to ensure that MAPPA is established in each of their geographic areas and to undertake the risk assessment and management of all identified MAPPA offenders (primarily violent offenders on licence or mental health orders and all registered sex offenders).

The police, prison and probation services have a clear statutory duty to share information for MAPPA purposes (see also Information Sharing).

Other organisations have a duty to cooperate with the responsible authority, including the sharing of information. These include:

  • local authority children, family and adult social care services;
  • other health trusts;
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • youth offender teams;
  • local housing authorities;
  • registered social landlords with accommodation for MAPPA offenders.

11. Prisoners

Local authority statutory adult safeguarding duties apply equally to those adults with care and support needs regardless of whether those needs are being met, regardless of whether the adult lacks mental capacity or not, and regardless of setting, other than prisons and approved premises where prison governors and National Offender Management Service (NOMS) respectively have responsibility. Senior representatives of those services may sit on the Safeguarding Adult Board.

12. Allegations against Carers who are Relatives or Friends

There is a clear difference between unintentional harm caused inadvertently and a deliberate act of either harm or omission. However contact must be made with the police if a crime has been or may be committed

In cases where unintentional harm has occurred this may be due to lack of knowledge or due to the fact that the carer’s own physical or mental needs make them unable to care adequately for the adult. The carer may also be an adult experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect. In this situation the aim of safeguarding adults work will be to help the carer to provide support and make changes in their behaviour in order to decrease the risk of further harm to the person they are caring for.

A carer’s assessment should follow the legal requirements of the Care Act 2014 and also take into account the following factors:

  • whether the adult for whom they care has a learning disability, mental health problems or a chronic progressive disabling illness that creates caring needs which exceed the carer’s ability to meet them;
  • the emotional and/or social isolation of the carer and the adult;
  • whether there is minimal or no communication between the adult and the carer either through choice, mental incapacity or poor relationship;
  • whether the carer is or is not in receipt of any practical and/or emotional support from other family members or professionals;
  • financial difficulties;
  • whether the carer has an enduring or lasting power of attorney or appointeeship;
  • whether there is a personal or family history of violent behaviour, alcoholism, substance misuse or mental illness;
  • the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the carer.

13. Person alleged to be responsible for Abuse or Neglect

When a complaint or allegation has been made against a member of staff, including people employed by the adult, they should be made aware of their rights under employment legislation and any internal disciplinary procedures.

When the person who is alleged to have carried out the abuse themselves has care and support needs and is unable to understand the significance of questions put to them or their replies, they should be assured of their right to the support of an ‘appropriate’ adult if they are questioned in relation to a suspected crime by the police under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). Victims of crime and witnesses may also require the support of an ‘appropriate adult’.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, people who lack capacity and are alleged to be responsible for abuse, are entitled to the help of an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate, to support and represent them in the enquiries that are taking place, This is separate from the decision whether or not to provide the victim of abuse with an Independent Advocate under the Care Act.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service should agree procedures with the local authority, care providers, housing providers, and the NHS / clinical commissioning group to cover the following situations:

  • action pending the outcome of the police and the employer’s investigations;
  • action following a decision to prosecute an individual;
  • action following a decision not to prosecute;
  • action pending trial; and
  • responses to both acquittal and conviction.

Employers who are also providers or commissioners of care and support not only have a duty to the adult, but also a responsibility to take action in relation to the employee when allegations of abuse are made against them. Employers should ensure that their disciplinary procedures are compatible with the responsibility to protect adults who are experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect.

With regard to abuse, neglect and misconduct within a professional relationship, codes of professional conduct and / or employment contracts should be followed and should determine the action that can be taken. Robust employment practices, with checkable references and recent Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Reports of abuse, neglect and misconduct should be investigated and evidence collected.

Where appropriate, employers should report workers to the statutory and other bodies responsible for professional regulation such as the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. If someone is removed from their role providing regulated activity following a safeguarding incident the provider has a legal duty to refer to the DBS. The DBS must also be informed if the person leaves their role to avoid a disciplinary hearing following a safeguarding incident and the employer feels they would have dismissed the person based on the information provided. It is a legal duty to make a safeguarding referral to DBS if a person is dismissed or removed from their role due to harm to a child or a vulnerable adult.

14. Abuse by Children

If a child/ren is causing harm to an adult, this should be dealt with under the safeguarding adults policy and procedures, but will also need to involve the local authority children’s services. Click on the links below to view contact details for child protection referrals to each local authority:

15. Child Protection

The Children Act (CA) 1989 provides the legislative framework for agencies to take decisions on behalf of children and to take action to protect them from abuse and neglect.

Everyone must be aware that in situations where there is a concern that an adult is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect and there are children in the same household, they too could be at risk. Reference should be made to the local child protection procedures, the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and internal protocols dealing with cross boundary working if there are concerns about abuse or neglect of children and young people under the age of 18. Referral must be made to the relevant children and families department.

16. Transitions (Care Leavers)

See also Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Children Board Procedures.

Robust joint working arrangements between children’s and adults’ services should be in place to ensure that the medical, psychosocial and vocational needs of children leaving care are assessed as they move into adulthood and begin to require support from adult services.

The care needs of the young person should be at the forefront of any support planning and require a coordinated multiagency approach. Assessments of care needs at this stage should include issues of safeguarding and risk. Care planning needs to ensure that the young adult’s safety is not put at risk through delays in providing the services they need to maintain their independence, wellbeing and choice.

The MCA 2005 applies to young people aged 16 years and over apart from the following aspects:

  • only people aged 18 or over can make a lasting power of attorney;
  • the law generally does not allow anyone below the age of 18 to make a will;
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisations under the MCA 2005 apply only to people aged 18 or over (see Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards).

See also Does my child have the right to refuse treatment? This provides information on decisions to refuse treatment made in advance by young people under the age of 18 by NHS Choices.

17. Ill Treatment and Wilful Neglect

Under Section 20 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 it is a criminal offence for an individual to ill treat or wilfully neglect another individual of whom s/he has the care by virtue of being a care worker. A “care worker” is defined as anyone who, as paid work, provides social care for adults or health care for children or adults. The ‘wilful’ element of the neglect offence suggests that the perpetrator has acted deliberately or recklessly. Similarly, ‘ill-treatment’ is a deliberate act, where the individual recognised that s/he was inexcusably ill treating a person, or else was being reckless as to whether s/he was doing so. Genuine errors or accidents by an individual would therefore not be caught within the scope of this offence.

17.1 Care worker offence

Under this legislation a ‘care worker’ means an individual, who, as paid work, provides health care, social care, or a director or similar officer of an organisation that provides such care.

Paid work is when a person receives or is entitled to receive payment for carrying out care. This does not include:

  • payment in respect of the individual’s reasonable expenses;
  • payment to which the individual is entitled as a foster parent;
  • a benefit under social security legislation,
  • or a payment made under arrangements under Section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 (arrangements to assist people to select, train for, obtain and retain employment).

Health care provision includes all forms of health care provided for individuals relating to physical health or mental health. This also relates to health care provided for or in connection with the protection or improvement of public health, and procedures that are similar to forms of medical or surgical care but are not provided in connection with medical conditions which are classed as “excluded health care” as described in Schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act.

Social care provision  includes all forms of personal care, physical support and other practical assistance provided for individuals who are in need of such care or assistance by reason of age, illness, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, dependence on alcohol or drugs or any other similar circumstances. This would not include a person whose provision of such care is merely incidental to the carrying out of other activities by the person.

An individual found guilty of an offence under this section is liable— on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or a fine (or both); or on a summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine (or both).

17.2 Care provider offence

The term ‘care provider’ means:

  • a corporate body or unincorporated association that provides and / or arranges the provision of health care (other than excluded health care, see Schedule 4 ) or social care for an adult;
  • an individual who is not the care provider, but provides health care or social care as part of health care or social care provided and / or arranged by the care provider, including where the individual is not the care provider but supervises or manages individuals providing health care or social care;
  • a director or similar officer of an organisation which provides health care or social care as described;
  • an individual providing such care and employs, or has made arrangements with, other people to assist him or her in providing such care.

A care provider commits an offence if:

  • an individual who has the care of another individual, by virtue of being part of the care provider’s arrangements, ill treats or wilfully neglects that individual;
  • if the care provider’s activities are managed or organised in a way which leads to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care owed by the care provider to the individual who is ill treated or neglected, and in the absence of the breach, the ill treatment or wilful neglect would not have occurred or would have been less likely to occur.

Relevant duty of care means a duty owed under the law of negligence, or a duty that would be owed under the law of negligence but for a provision contained in an Act, or an instrument made under an Act, under which liability is imposed in place of liability under the law of negligence, but only to the extent that the duty is owed in connection with providing, or arranging for the provision of, health care or social care.

A person arranging for the provisions of such care do not include a person who makes arrangements under which the provision of such care is merely incidental to the carrying out of other activities.

A breach of a duty of care by a care provider is a ‘gross’ breach if the conduct alleged to amount to the breach falls far below what can reasonably be expected of the care provider in the circumstances.

References made to providing or arranging for the provision of health care or social care do not include making payments under:

(a) regulations under section 57 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (direct payments for community services and carers);

(b) section 12A of the National Health Act 2006 (direct payments for health care);

(c) section 31 or 32 of the Care Act 2014 (direct payments for care and support).

18. Modern Slavery

See also:

18.1 Introduction

‘Modern slavery encompasses human trafficking slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. A large number of active organised crime groups are involved in modern slavery. But it is also committed by individual opportunistic perpetrators.’ (Modern Slavery Strategy, 2014, p.9)

The scale of modern slavery in the UK is significant. Modern slavery crimes are being committed across the country and there has been year on year increases in the number of victims identified. The Home Office estimated there were between 10,000 – 13,000 potential victims in 2013 (HM Government, 2014).

The Care and Support Statutory Guidance lists modern slavery as a type of abuse. This is the first time that it has been categorised as a safeguarding adults concern, as it recognises the abusive nature of such situations.

Throughout the LLR Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures the term victim is generally not used. However, this procedure, does focus on victims as they may not always be adults at risk who are meeting a safeguarding threshold, but all professionals should recognise the significance of this crime and report it if they become aware of it.

18.2 Victims

Whilst modern slavery is a global problem, there are many victims living in the United Kingdom (UK). They may have been brought here from overseas, but may also be vulnerable UK citizens who are forced to work illegally against their will or who are otherwise exploited.

There is no typical victim of slavery – victims can be men, women and children of all ages and ethnicities, across the population. But it is usually more prevalent amongst the most vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups in UK society.

18.3 Types of Slavery

There are a number of different types of modern slavery. These include:

  • Forced labour / debt bondage: Victims are forced, by criminals, to work in order to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to. The criminals keep their wages low and increase their debts. Therefore they cannot pay off the loan, but the debt may also be passed to their children.
  • Forced labour: Victims are forced to work against their will. They usually have to work very long hours for little or no pay. Conditions are often very poor, and employers verbally or physically threaten them or actually abuse them and / or their families. Industries where this is more likely to occur include mining, manual building work such as tarmacking, hospitality and food packaging.
  • Sexual exploitation: Victims are forced to perform abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Although the majority of victims are women and children, men can also be affected. Adults are coerced often under the threat of force, blackmail or other sanctions.
  • Criminal exploitation: Victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing. They are often controlled and mistreated, in order to be made to commit such crimes against their will.
  • Domestic servitude: Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households. They receive little or no pay, have their movements severely restricted, have very limited or no free time and little or no privacy, often having to sleeping where they work such as kitchens rather than having their own rooms.

18.4 Signs of Slavery

The following are indicators that someone may be living and / or working in slavery conditions:

  • Physical appearance and demeanour: Victims may show signs of physical abuse or psychological abuse. They may look malnourished or unkempt and may also be emotionally withdrawn and depressed. They may avoid eye contact, and appear frightened especially if someone tries to speak to them.
  • Isolation: Victims may not usually be allowed to travel by themselves, and are not normally seen alone. They may seem to be under the control or influence of people who are with them, and do not interact with others they may meet. They may be unfamiliar with their local neighbourhood or around where they work, as they are not allowed out for purposes other than work / exploitation.
  • Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in unsanitary, cramped, overcrowded and accommodation. Sometimes the property is not normally used for domestic living arrangements, such as a garage or industrial premises and is therefore unsuitable. They may also live and work at the same address.
  • Few or no personal effects: Victims may often have no identification documents, as they have been confiscated by their ‘employers’ to prevent them being able to leave. They may have few personal possessions, including clothes and therefore have to wear the same attire each day, making them worn and sometimes stained and dirty if laundering them is difficult. Their clothes may not be suitable for the work they do.
  • Restricted freedom of movement: Victims have little opportunity to move freely on their own, and may also have had travel documents such as passports, confiscated.
  • Unusual travel times: Victims may be dropped off / collected for work early in the morning or late at night. As they will not be allowed to travel alone, they will also be escorted to and from work.
  • Reluctant to seek help: Victims may not know who to trust or where to get help. They may be frightened to speak to strangers and be afraid of police and customs officials, through fear of deportation, or violence to them or their family from their employers / captors.

18.5 Taking Action

Anyone who suspects slavery is happening should not attempt to let the victim know their situation has been reported it, nor should a professional attempt to confront the traffickers. The safety of the victim and the professional is the first priority.

18.5.1 Immediate threat of significant harm

If it is suspected that someone is in immediate danger, the police should be contacted on 999.

If the individual is believed to have needs for care and support a safeguarding referral should also be made to the local authority.

18.5.2 No immediate threat of significant harm

There are a number of options that can be taken:

  • the police can be contacted on 101;
  • Crimestoppers can be contacted: 0800 555 111;
  • The Modern Slavery helpline can be contacted: 0800 0121 700

If the individual is believed to have needs for care and support a safeguarding referral should also be made to the local authority.

18.5.3 Seeking advice

Advice should be sought from the organisation’s designated safeguarding adults lead, the local Safeguarding Adults Team, the local Public Protection Unit (contactable via the police switchboard) or the Modern Slavery helpline if the professional wants to discuss their concerns or is unsure about what action they should take.

18.6 Responsibilities

As detailed by Section 52 of the Modern Slavery Act, frontline staff employed by the police, local authorities, National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Gang masters Licensing Authority have a duty to notify the Home Office if they encounter a potential victim of modern slavery in England and Wales.

Once a referral has been received the following steps will be undertaken; the first responder will complete a referral form to pass the case to the Competent Authority(CA) (usually the NCA via the National Referral Mechanism). Referral to a CA is voluntary and can happen only if the potential victims gives their permission by signing the referral form. In the case of children their consent is not required. The relevant form can be found here.

First responders are;

  • Police
  • UK Border Force
  • Home Office Immigration and Visas
  • Gangmasters Licensing Authority
  • Local Authorities
  • Salvation Army
  • Poppy Project
  • Migrant Help
  • Medaille Trust
  • Kalayaan
  • Barnardos
  • Unseen
  • Bawso
  • Refugee Council

All completed NRM forms are sent to the NCA Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) in the first instance. The MSHTU will then determine which CA will deal with the case.

Currently, it is part of the local process for partner agencies, not listed as first responder to call 101, this is not a national process but is in place in order to support intelligence and information sharing for agencies. Local authorities, are listed as a first responder and therefore share the responsibility, with the police to make a referral to National Crime Agency using the NRM. It is expected that the local authority would lead where a safeguarding adults threshold has been met and the police where it has not, however the necessity remains around making the referral in the first instance and ensuring the safety of the individual irrelevant of responsibility.

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