Safeguarding week 2018 saw a number of events taking place between 25 and 29 June.
The North Yorkshire safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships worked together to host safeguarding week 2018. The theme was ‘safeguarding is everybody’s business’.
Every year safeguarding week aims to raise awareness of the different forms that abuse can take and look at complex issues like protecting young people from abuse online.
Safeguarding week in North Yorkshire is supported every year by the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board, the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board, and their partner organisations including the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership.
Colleagues including North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, IDAS, district councils and health partners provided information and ran events across North Yorkshire, offering advice and guidance on a range of issues such as staying safe online, cyber-bullying, grooming, loneliness and isolation, and scams.
Safeguarding is everybody’s business - case studies
The case studies below talk about different types of abuse and how it can be overcome. No one should have to suffer - everyone has the right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect.
Staff in a North Yorkshire hotel contacted North Yorkshire Police regarding concerns that a male had attempted to check into the hotel at 12:00 hours with a young female they believed to be about 14 years old.
The staff who were suspicious challenged the male and were told the female was his daughter. Staff became more suspicious when he asked for a double room after being offered the choice of a twin room, stating they would only be there a couple of hours.
While the male had a drink in the hotel bar, the staff noticed the female was very nervous and had refused a soft drink. When the male and female went up to their room, staff interjected and asked him to leave. They recorded both the registration number of the car driven by the male and his credit card details.
Enquires made by North Yorkshire Police identified that the male came from Staffordshire and the local police question him regarding his activities. The man told the police he had met a female on Saturday on social media and had spoken to her via her mobile phone.
He admitted he had gone to the hotel and stated that she was his daughter because she was from the local area and he didn’t want to cause her any problems as she had a boyfriend. He told the police that to access the social media site he used, a user has to provide credit card details to gain an account and that the female’s profile stated she was 21. He said that nothing happened between them as she was not that kind of girl.
The suspect’s father told officers present that his son was ‘always travelling around the country meeting females’ and the suspect was arrested for sexual grooming. In reply to caution he stated ‘She was 18 what’s the issue?’
A search was made of the man’s home address where a laptop, desktop PC and a mobile tablet were seized along with three mobile phones and a sat nav. The seized computers were examined and there was approximately 350 pictures which ‘depicting web-cam type posing by females approx teens upwards, possibly originating from instant web chat or contact / communications’.
The man was charged with eleven offences including making thirty-four indecent images, possession of images of children and possession of extreme pornography. The man pleaded guilty at court and was sentenced to a Community Order and the Sex Offenders Programme, as well as being entered onto the Sex Offenders Register.
When the young girl had met the male online she thought he was much younger. When she met the man she found herself in a situation where she felt she couldn’t escape and was grateful for the intervention of the hotel.
Without the prompt and proactive intervention of hotel staff, this offender would not have been identified and may have gone on to offend and abuse other victims. This case study also highlight that safeguarding is not just the role of the police and statutory services but that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility.
A recent ONS study revealed that one in 13 women in Yorkshire and the Humber have been impacted by domestic abuse, that’s almost 120,000 women. Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse and with such a high number of people affected we may all know someone who is experiencing it.
Independent Domestic Abuse Services explain how we can help a friend or family member who is experiencing domestic abuse and how, with their support people can move on to lead safe and happy lives.
Jodie, a former client of IDAS tells her story:
“I was having problems with my little boy who was two at the time and behaving badly, refusing to go to bed, tantrums etc. After talking to my health visitor about this she told me I needed to contact IDAS for support around domestic abuse. My partner was very controlling about who I saw, where I went, who had access to the money, how I could parent our son, if I could see my mum and so on but I couldn’t see that at the time and thought everything must be my fault because that is what he told me. I was exhausted.”
“I had support from the IDAS outreach team because I didn’t want to go into a refuge. After I got my support worker things began to change for the better for me. I was initially scared of meeting her but we got on so well from the very first time and I felt safe enough to talk about everything that had happened in my relationship which I had never done before, it was like getting rid of a big weight. We even managed to have a laugh about some of the stuff which helped to keep things in perspective for me as well. I never imagined that we would smile about things I can now see that it was a much kinder way to help me deal with the things I had to face.”
“Together we worked on understanding how domestic abuse looked in my relationship and how I could spot the signs for a future relationship as well as how to keep my son and I safe. She helped me to recognise that what was happening was not my fault and that it was abuse and so it didn’t feel like it was just my problem anymore.”
Domestic abuse has long-lasting affects on families and communities and can often lead to serious injury or death. However, the right support at the right time can help people to stay safe and move on with their lives.
If you are concerned that they are experiencing domestic abuse, here is some simple advice:
- Get help. Call the local domestic abuse service for advice and guidance. Experienced workers can help people to understand their options, carry out risk assessments and safety planning to keep people safe.
- Share your concerns. Let your friend or family member know that you are concerned about them. Explain what behaviour that you have seen that concerns you. Avoid calling their partner names.
- Be gentle, supportive and present. Don’t be put off if they are not receptive and try not to cast your judgement on their situation. Avoid pressuring them to do anything but help them to look-into their options.
- Keep communicating. Don’t give up on a friend or family member, let them know that you will always be there for them even if you just drop them a text once a week.
- Report. If you are concerned that an adult or child might be at risk of injury or even death report it to the police as soon as possible.
At Independent Domestic Abuse Services, we support anyone who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence. We keep people safe and support people to live lives free from abuse and harm. Last year we supported over 5,000 people. If you are concerned for a friend or family member, please call us on 03000 110 110. Our support is confidential and non-judgemental. We will listen and explain the options available to people.
Mr G is 62 years old and socially isolated. He has been the victim of a romance fraud. He was first contacted by a female called Kimberly on a dating website two years ago and they have been in an online relationship. Mr G has been promised £3 million that he will receive from Kimberley due to her US army father being killed in action when they marry, but until that time Kimberley has asked for money. In total Mr G has sent over £36,000 to Kimberley.
The police have confirmed that Kimberley does not exist and that the fraud is actually a multinational organised crime group. Mr G does not wish to accept this. As the money has left the country the police are unable to recover this.
Keeping yourself safe from financial abuse:
Anyone can be a victim of financial abuse. There are things you can do to keep yourself safe:
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know;
- Do not send any money to claim prizes or lottery winnings;
- If you receive a phone call from someone you don’t know, always ask for the name of the person you are speaking to. Verify this information by calling the company’s head office on a different phone line;
- Never give out your bank account details over the phone;
- Never reply to spam emails, just delete them;
- Legitimate financial institutions will never ask you to click on links in an email to access your account and will never ask you for your pin number; and
- Be wary of money transfer agents.
How to spot if a family or friend may be subject to financial abuse:
- Do the person’s finances look reasonable?
- Strange / large transactions in bank accounts?
- Does bank activity match the person?
- Changes to the person, they may become more isolated or secretive?
- Do they have lots of post or large amount of cheques? Are they receiving a large volume of calls?
What to do if you or someone you know is being financially abused:
- Report this to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040
- Unless a crime is in progress or about to be committed;
- The suspect is known; or
- The crime involves a vulnerable victim.
If this is the case, you should contact the police on 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency.
What is self-neglect?
Self-neglect can include, ‘… a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding’.
Types of self-neglect include:
- Lack of self-care - this includes neglect of one’s personal hygiene, nutrition and hydration, or health, to an extent that may endanger safety or wellbeing;
- Lack of care of one’s environment - this includes situations that may lead to domestic squalor or elevated levels of risk in the domestic environment (e.g. health or fire risks caused by hoarding); and
- Refusal of assistance that might alleviate these issues. This might include, for example, refusal of care services in either a person’s own home or a care environment or of health assessments or interventions, even if previously agreed, which could potentially improve self-care or care of their environment.
There are various reasons why people self-neglect. Some people have insight into their behaviour, while others do not. It can occur as a result of mental health issues, personality disorders, substance abuse, dementia, advancing age, social isolation, and cognitive impairment or through personal choice. It can be triggered by trauma and significant life events. Self-neglect is an issue that affects people from all backgrounds.
What to do if you think someone is self-neglecting:
It is important to remember that everyone has a right to choose the way that they live, even if it may be different to the way other people choose to.
However, if you think a person is self-neglecting and it is putting them or other people at risk (including children) you should contact us on 01609 780 780 for advice. If a person is in immediate danger you could call 999.
Anyone who is concerned that someone may be the subject of abuse should report it.
If you are worried about a child please go to the North Yorkshire safeguarding children board - worried about a child page.
If you are worried about an adult please telephone 01609 780780.
For further updates follow these twitter feeds or search for #nysw2018
- North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board
- North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board
- North Yorkshire County Council