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Adult Abuse and Protection - what you need to know

Adult Protection - What are the problems?

Adults with disabilities of all kinds and older adults who are physically and mentally frail are easy targets for those who want to make money or to satisfy their own needs by treating others badly.

Although Orkney is a small community where we would not like to think that this kind of thing happens- it does.

Adults are made to feel miserable by friends, family and strangers who treat them disrespectfully or neglect their needs.

People have their property and money stolen by those whom they trust, again, often family or friends.

Criminals from far afield use the post, emails and telephone to extract money from adults in Orkney. It is very difficult to get any of this money back or to catch the perpetrators.

What to do if you are affected by anything like this

If you are being treated badly by someone in any way or you see someone else being treated badly, you can phone to speak to a worker in the Adult Social Work Team on 01856873535, Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00. You can talk through any issues and get help and advice.

If you think that a criminal offence has happened- for instance someone has been assaulted or money has been stolen, you can call the Police. If it is urgent, call 999, if not call 101.

Adult Protection in Orkney

In Scotland, the Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 gives a range of powers to the Council to allow them to help people who are at risk because of the actions or neglect of others.

Social Work Teams take referrals about incidents and people at risk of harm and will try to solve the problems for the person in the ways that suit them and their lifestyle best. Social workers will involve carers, other professionals and anyone who can help to support and protect the person at risk of harm.

Where negotiation and discussion do not reduce risk enough, social workers will go to the Sheriff, and if he is convinced by evidence, he will grant orders which could remove a person from a risky situation or ban a perpetrator from the person’s home to reduce the risk.

Other places where you can get help for yourself or someone you know

OIC Trading Standards can give advice about bogus tradespeople; nuisance calls and so on. They may be able to offer specialist phone systems that redirect or block nuisance calls.

Advocacy Orkney can help a person have their voice heard and represent their views.

Local Solicitors can give legal advice and help in setting up power of attorney or guardianship arrangements to support people who have difficulty making decisions for themselves.


If at any time you are not satisfied with the action or decision of Orkney Health and Care, you can make a complaint.

The OIC complaints leaflet is available at all our offices. Or you can request one from the Complaints Officer on 01856873535.

Contact details

To arrange discuss a worry about adult abuse or to get advice, call the Duty Worker:

Adult Social Work, Orkney Health and Care, Council Offices, Kirkwall, KW15 1NY.

Telephone: 01856873535.

Advocacy Orkney: 01856870111.

Trading Standards: 01856873535.

Police: 999 in an emergency, otherwise 101.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS