Seen something? Say something?

'I would like to thank people in our local communities who saw something and said something – their swift action has played a key role in keeping many others safe.'

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, Health and Social Care spokesperson for East Lothian Council

Ten years after the implementation of the Adult Support and Protection Act in Scotland, Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, Health and Social Care spokesperson for East Lothian Council, welcomes National Adult Protection Day 2018 as an opportunity to focus on the progress communities and public authorities have made in advancing adult protection, and looking now at what we need to do next.

Councillor O’Donnell, who is also East Lothian Health Integration Joint Board Vice-Chair, said:

‘I think we’ve come a long way over the past ten years and much of that has stemmed from making people more fully aware of what adult protection is all about. A good example here is the very successful "Seen something, say something" campaign, which we have been promoting in East Lothian for several years. The campaign asks people who think an adult may be at risk of harm, or where something just feels wrong, to go with their instinct and get things checked out. All you have to do is make one phone call (this can be anonymous) and the authorities will check it out for you and take it from there.

‘In East Lothian, between 2014-15 and 2016-17, adult protection referrals have risen from 427 to 530. That’s not necessarily because there are more cases of abuse in the community but because more people in East Lothian are taking an active approach in protecting adults when they think something is wrong.’

Adult harm can take many forms, ranging from physical, mental or sexual abuse through to neglect. It also includes people tricking vulnerable adults out of money or stealing from them; people ‘freeloading’ – hanging out persistently at a vulnerable adult’s house and living off them, or making them take part in illegal or socially unacceptable activity.

Councillor O’Donnell adds:

‘What I would like to say this National Adult Protection Day is thank you to everyone who plays a part in adult protection in East Lothian – social workers, health workers, police, trading standards; and all our other partners. In particular, I would like to thank people in our local communities who saw something and said something – their swift action has played a key role in keeping many others safe.'

If you are worried about someone, you should phone the council on 01875 824 309 or Police Scotland on 101, or go to www.actionagainstharm.org

Published: Thursday, 15th February 2018