Wiltshire's 'abuse risk' adult numbers double

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"Alerts" about vulnerable adults believed to be at risk of abuse have doubled in the past year in Wiltshire.

The figures - 1,686 in 2012-13 compared with 823 in 2011-12 - are contained in a report by the local Safeguarding Adults Board.

The report attributes the rise to changes in the way alerts are recorded, and high-profile cases of abuse like that of Winterbourne View.

Adult care director James Cawley said they could cope with the rise.

An "alert" is generated any time there is concern a vulnerable adult may have been the victim of abuse.

Mr Cawley said: "It's something we constantly monitor and we are looking at about 'do we require additional capacity to deal with the increase?'.

"It's something that the council will consider if appropriate.

"We can manage the amount at the moment, but if the increase continues it's something we would have to consider."

Positive indicator

Margaret Sheather, who wrote the report, said: "It is a concern that the numbers have gone up.

"It's also a recognition, I think, that adult abuse is becoming as well-known, unfortunately, as children's risks, and we are starting to hear from people who have got a concern."

The report, which will be presented to the council's health select committee later, says Wiltshire's system for recording alerts has changed, which makes it difficult to compare year on year.

The council said it had been actively encouraging people to come forward with any worries they have about abuse and they see this rise in alerts as a positive indicator that people are feeling free to do so.

The report also looks at what has been learnt from the serious case review and related reports from Winterbourne View and how those lessons can be applied across Wiltshire.

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