People living in Argyll and Bute are being encouraged to speak up and report harm which is happening to them or to another person.
The call comes from the Argyll and Bute adult protection committee, which has revealed that the number of adult protection referrals in the area rose to from 446 in 2012-13 to 556 in 2013-14.
Of those 556 referrals, 183 came from the Bute and Cowal area, 178 from Helensburgh and Lomond, 127 from Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay and 68 from Oban, Lorn and the Isles.
The committee’s independent chair, Bill Brackenridge, said: “The committee has been working together for almost six years now, and we are encouraged to see that more referrals are received each year for adults who are being harmed.
“Everyone owes it to their friends, their family and their neighbours to think about whether they may be at risk of harm. Reporting harm means that an adult who cannot protect themselves gets the right help and support to keep them safe.”
Harm can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. It may also take the form of neglect or not providing someone with adequate care. The important thing is to speak up as there are many people willing to help - social workers, the police, your doctor, and even a sympathetic and helpful neighbour or friend.
Ensuring that care is in place for vulnerable adults is a key part of ensuring that communities are safe and strong and that people can live active, independent lives.
The number of referrals, from a range of sources, is thought to reflect both the increased training commitment from agencies involved in adult protection and the increasing level of public awareness.
The adult protection committee is made up of senior staff from many of the agencies involved in protecting adults who may be at risk.
If you wish to report harm which is happening to you, or if you think harm is happening to another adult, please call Argyll and Bute Council’s social work department on 01546 605517. Outwith office hours please call 01631 566491 or 01631 569712.