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Vulnerable Adults and Protection from Crime

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Nov 2021 | comments*Discuss
Crime Protection Vulnerable Learning

People with learning disabilities may find it difficult to fit in with mainstream society. This can be for a number of reasons, as they may face prejudice and discrimination in their everyday lives. They might not have the ability to effectively communicate with other people. They may not understand certain aspects of social etiquette, or they may simply find it difficult to access their local communities and community services. In short, they are not always adequately protected like other people in society as they are sometimes excluded from it.

Vulnerable Adults

It is for this reason that people with learning disabilities may be classed as vulnerable. Their vulnerability might be due to their learning disability, physical disability, sensory impairment or illness. Generally, a vulnerable person is someone who is aged over 18, but may not have the ability to not only look after themselves, but may also be at risk because they can’t protect themselves from harm or exploitation.

They may be at risk in their own homes, in their local communities or whilst using public transport. It has been suggested that vulnerable people are actually less at risk from crime in general, but they are more at risk from actually being attacked than other people. It is thought that people with learning disabilities also have an increased risk of becoming victims of sexual abuse, and they may also be less able to defend themselves against violence.

Access To Justice

A vulnerable person may be seen as an easy target, seemingly less protected and helpless in the face of attack, bullying or abuse. However, another problem exists in that a vulnerable person that has become a victim of crime may not have the ability to or knowledge of how to tell someone or report such crime to the authorities. And, even in instances where a crime has been reported, there have been cases where a number of obstacles have stood in the way of the victim having access to justice.

UK Government Booklet - 'Keep Safe'

There are a number of government initiatives and self-advocacy groups that have been set up to help improve access to justice for people with learning disabilities. They also focus on helping vulnerable people protect themselves from crime, as well as encouraging the reporting of crime to the police.

Under Mencap’s accessible writing guidelines, the UK Government published a booklet for vulnerable people and their carers entitled ‘Keep Safe’. It advises ways in which vulnerable people, including learning disabled, can help to reinforce their personal safety, whether in their homes, entering into their local communities or travelling around.

The booklet gives pointers on how to deal with certain risky circumstances as well as how to cope with incidents of crime such as attacks, mugging, abuse or harassment. This advice includes ways to improve home security, as well as ways to make sure that there is always a way to contact someone if you should ever need help. It also gives advice on how to go about daily activities safely, such as using cash machines, and giving out personal information on the phone.

VoiceUK is one such group working to help vulnerable learning-disabled people obtain better and easier access to justice if they become victims of crime. They, alongside other disabled charities such as Ann Craft Trust, Respond, Mencap and Sense, often work alongside the government to help put together policies that will give people with learning disabilities greater protection and the means to help protect themselves against crime, neglect and abuse.

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I always wanted to be with those who has got learning difficulties. My concern is to help them sincerely. As I am workingas a TA, I have met few kids who need some extra help but alwayslack of confidence to ask for.I am doing this course with the hope that I can stand beside them.
Shumi - 10-Nov-21 @ 12:29 PM
I have a sister in law who has learning disabilities and has been left to her own devises and was offered a counsel flat so far away from civilisation outside reigate and doesn't drive. She has lived there 10 years and always been very indipendant. We've now found out a man has not only started coming over to her flat and telling her he loves her but she has been giving him money and we've found out he's married with children but he has never given her his real name/address and has a number of mobile phones. We are horrified that he is taking advantage of her this was (even though she cant see it) and now want to intervene to protect her from any further abuse. Can anyone please suggest the right way to go about this as we dont have proof of him taking money and therefore it cannot be deemed illegal. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.
K - 10-Nov-20 @ 2:41 PM
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN Chester Local Safeguarding Adults Board and allegations of abuse involving adults with learning disabilities. I understand Mark Palethorpe of Chester West and Cheshire Council, Director of the Association of Directors of Adults in Social Services (ADASS) is a member of the Safeguarding Adults Board for the North West. When I complained about poor social work practice in the Adults with a Learning Disabilities Team, in Chester, I was threatened with prosecution, restraining orders and bailiffs. UNISON conspired with CW&CC which enabled county solicitors Gerard Budd and Suzanne Antrobus to give false and misleading information and falsifying legal documents. The Solicitors Regulation Authority refuse to investigate and/or inform GB & SA of my complaint. The Certification Officer dismissed my complaint without receiving a Response from UNISON they are from root to branch firmly planted in the council’s pocket, and the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Ombudsman refuse to send me a final decision letter as to why. Working practice of services for adults with learning disabilities needs investigating inside out, root to branch.
mavis jones - 18-Mar-19 @ 3:19 PM
Help needed..( stalking /harassment) plus 1990s.When aged 12 .. Details online Facebook and other social network's..
scitzilisa - 12-Sep-16 @ 1:29 PM
Lets show kids with disabilities people who surround us help them when they need us protect them ,i love caring elders especialy those with hiv-aids .
Aidiid - 21-Mar-15 @ 7:53 AM
I need your advice on what to do.My eldest brother,CONTROLLED orphaned learning disabled nephew, to open a joint "Santander" bank account.He lied saying is an ISAaccount.But he wrote a cheque for £13,000 payable to self.I transferred £55,000 into nephew's bank account,which is all nephew's money not mine.But my eldest brother wanted money from me,so he assumed money is mine.He possessed the cheque book.So he involved nephew in our dispute!Yet our nephew is married.So why did he open a joint account,not the wife.My eldest brother scares our nephew.I want to prosecute my eldest brother Why Because he ABUSED with intent,learning disabled person,who trusted 100% my brother He does not have any legal authority to manage nephew's finances.I would be most grateful if you could inform me,on how to proceed Contact mobile number:07757172609 home telephone number:020-8239-7267 thanks.
Tashy - 13-Oct-13 @ 10:36 PM
Recently visited Africa and seen how the disabled and vulnerable are left out of societal development. I wish I could stand up and be a voice for them, I really don't know how to go about it. I need some help so l can also be a help, all suggestions are welcome.
Kaykay - 16-May-13 @ 4:27 PM
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