Hereford & Worcester

Abuse of vulnerable adults in Worcestershire rises

There has been a sevenfold increase in the number of reported cases of abuse against vulnerable adults in Worcestershire.

There were 734 reported cases in 2009/10 compared to 97 in 2007/08.

Pete Morgan, chairman of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board, fears there could be more cases going unreported, particularly among those living at home.

Physical abuse and neglect were the most commonly reported forms of abuse.

Mr Morgan said the number of prosecutions was "very small" because the victim often does not want to go to court.

"If it is your son who is doing something you may not want him to be prosecuted - you want the relationship to remain but the abuse to stop," he said.

The Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board said adults can become vulnerable for a number of reasons, including their age, life circumstances or health conditions.

It said it plans to give "greater priority" to preventing abuse and neglect, as well as continuing to deal with its after effects.

This will involve "robust" supervision of staff, and supporting those who report concerns about the treatment of vulnerable adults.

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