‘Nearly 700 adults abused over 12 months’

Nearly 700 vulnerable adults in Bradford were abused in a 12-month period, new figures reveal.

Disturbingly, some of the abuse is said to have been carried out by a social worker or a member of the victim’s family.

Bradford Council received 2,050 reports of abuse between April 2011 and April this year – 660 of which were proven to have happened.

The types of abuse were listed as physical, neglect and financial, with cases happening in the victim’s own home or in a care home.

The figures, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), show that 1,790 of the allegations were considered worthy of investigation.

In total, 1,070 were concluded by April 2012. Of those, 660 were proven, 215 were not substantiated and 195 were not, or had yet to be, determined.

A spokesman for the HSCIC said: “The number of cases referred for investigation – 1,790 – was a lot for one year.”

Councillor Amir Hussain said vigorous action was being taken to tackle the issue.

“Even if one person was included in these figures, it is one too many,” he said.

“We take safeguarding very seriously in Bradford and we have taken a number of steps that take us well ahead of the rest of the country, in that we are appointing an independent chairman for the Safeguarding Adults Board.”

Of the 1,070 reports of abuse that were concluded, 435 were allegedly perpetrated by a member of the victim’s family. Social workers were responsible for 385, the figures revealed.

Across England, councils referred 108,000 cases of alleged abuse against vulnerable adults for investigation in 2011-12, an 11 per cent rise on the previous year.

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “A vulnerable adult is a person who receives or might need community care services due to disability, age or illness.

“The report addresses the distressing subject of when these adults are potentially being subject to abuse within our own society, seemingly often in their own home or within a care setting.

“This is a clearly a complex area, which must be considered when interpreting these provisional findings.

“However, the statistics do point towards a considerable increase in the number of cases councils refer for investigation in relation to potential abuse towards vulnerable adults.”

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