Adults requiring care and support may not be able to protect themselves from abuse or neglect. We have specialist trained officers and staff who work to protect adults at risk of abuse.

Any adult can suffer abuse or neglect from anyone in their lives. Abuse can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse and neglect. For older adults, abuse can include coercive control, neglect or acts of omission, discrimination, modern slavery, domestic abuse and cuckooing.

Cuckooing is a term given to criminals who target the homes of vulnerable adults. They may use the property for any criminal purpose but in particular, drug dealing, sexual crimes and firearms. The vulnerable adult is often tasked to complete criminal acts, often under duress.

Adults within a care setting may also experience organisational abuse.

Adults requiring care and support may be at risk of self neglect and potentially may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Report it

If you are worried that you or someone you know is suffering adult or elder abuse or neglect, please contact us immediately. We will investigate and ensure the person gets the best course of action to meet their needs. 

This can be done:

Remember to always call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000Or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

Any reports of adult abuse or neglect will be sent to specialist trained officers in our Safeguarding Investigation Units.

Or contact Crimestoppers confidentially and anonymously:

Phone: 0800 555 111

You can also give a report to us anonymously – we will record and investigate offences even if you do not want to give your details.

Working with others

We will work with multi-agency partners to protect adults from abuse and neglect. This includes working with them on specific cases to ensure the person receives the support they need and is protected from any further abuse or neglect.

Sussex Police and multi-agency partners also hold regular Safeguarding Adults Boards (SAB) across the county and set policy and procedures for all multi-agency partners who support adults at risk.

Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures

Action on Elder Abuse provides confidential help and advice and work to protect vulnerable older adults from abuse.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. Their website provides details of local care provides and results of their inspections.

Citizens Advice Bureau gives free confidential information and advice to assist people with problems.
Phone: 03444 111 444
Text relay: 03444 111 445 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Mencap support people with a learning disability and their families. More information can be found on their website.

Neighbourhood Watch for safer and stronger communities.

Scope provides support for disabled people and advice and information on disabilities. Their website provides details of how to contact them.

Trading Standards offers consumer help or advice
Phone: 03454 040506
Email: [email protected]

Victim Support offers free confidential support for those affected by crime or traumatic events
Phone: 0333 250 9854 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)


Other useful links

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services