Staying safe - support for adults

This page has information on getting support with adult abuse and other forms of abuse. It also has advice on scams, fraud and crime prevention, and staying safe including the Herbert Protocol, a way to share someone's personal details with the Police so they quickly help if a person goes missing. 

If you're concerned that someone may be at risk of harm, please report it.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999.

If there is no immediate danger you can call the Police on 101 or you can tell someone you trust. This might be someone in your family, a friend or neighbour, or it could be a professional, like your doctor, social worker or care worker.

If you don't want to tell someone you know, you can tell the Council’s Adult Access Team.

Sheffield City Council: Report adult abuse.

Call: 0114 2734908 (you can ring this number anytime).

Email: (do not include personal information if you do not have a secure email address).

Call in: First Point at Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield S1 2HH.

Write to: Adult Access Team, Corporate Mail Facility, FREEPOST NEA5527, Town Hall, Sheffield S1 2ZZ.

All reports of abuse will be taken seriously and be treated with the strictest confidence.

If you're a professional and you're worried that an adult is being abused or neglected, please follow the advice for professionals below.

If you're a professional and you're worried that an adult is being abused or neglected, you can report it to the Council's First Contact Team.

Sheffield City Council: Report adult abuse.

Call: (0114) 273 4908. Please be aware phone lines are busy and you may have to wait some time before your call is answered.


You can also complete Safeguarding Adults Concern Form.

Safeguarding Adults Concern Form (Word, 38 KB). Please provide as much detail as possible. Email the form to the team.


Concerns are screened daily to assess initial risk. The team may contact you and other people involved to ask for more information.

Abuse can happen to anyone, but some adults are more "at risk" of abuse or neglect because they are more vulnerable.

A person is defined as an "adult at risk" if they are:

  • 18 years or older,
  • in need of care and support (whether or not they get any) because of their age, disability, illness, mental health needs, drug or alcohol misuse,
  • as a result of their care and support needs are unable to protect themselves from harm.

People who may cause harm can be partners, family members, relatives, people who work or volunteer in health or social care services, another service user, friends, neighbours or strangers.

Abuse can happen just once or may carry on for months or years.

Abuse is any action which harms another person. It includes:

Physical abuse
Hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, burning, locking someone in a room, inappropriate restraint, misuse of medication.

Verbal abuse
Shouting or swearing.

Domestic abuse
Physical, sexual, financial, psychological and emotional abuse. Also includes so called "honour" based violence.

Sexual abuse
Rape, sexual assault, forcing someone to take part in or witness a sexual act against their will, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual photography.

Emotional or psychological abuse
Bullying, controlling, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact from people or support services, being laughed at, made to feel frightened or being pressured into decisions.

Financial or material abuse
Fraud, stealing, misusing or withholding someone's money or belongings, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance.

Being left without food, heating, care or medication.

Ill treatment or harassment based on a person's age, gender, sexuality, disability, race or religious belief.

Organisational abuse
Neglect or poor care within a care setting (such as a care home or hospital or care provided in one’s own home) resulting from failure by that care provider to meet the care needs of people in their care.

Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Modern slavery is when a person is exploited, controlled or held captive, or threatened or punished to stop them escaping or reporting their abuse. Anyone can experience modern slavery, but you may be more at risk because of money, social or health issues, or because of your age or immigration status. The abuse can include threats and punishments, and may involve violence. Modern slavery can also include human trafficking, when the person is moved between countries or around a country so they can be exploited.

There's more advice on this on the Metropolitan Police website.

Metropolitan Police: Modern Slavery.

Local services that support people with Modern Slavery and Trafficking.

Causeway. Snowdrop Project.

People who may cause harm
People who may cause harm can be partners, family members, relatives, people who work or volunteer in health or social care services, another service user, friends, neighbours or strangers.

Abuse can happen just once or may carry on for months or years.

This section has advice on reporting child abuse, domestic abuse and hate crime and hate incidents.

Child abuse

If you are worried that a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm then phone the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub on 0114 273 4855 (24 hours) to speak to a social worker. If a child is in immediate danger then call 999 for a police response.

The Hub is the first point of contact for child protection concerns. 

Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership: Safeguarding Hub.

Domestic abuse

The Sheffield Domestic Abuse Helpline is free to call from mobiles and landlines. Call 0808 808 2241. In an emergency call 999. If you can't speak to the operator press 55 and you will be connected to the Police (only on a mobile phone).

Get more information about domestic abuse from the Sheffield Drug and Alcohol/Domestic Abuse Coordination Team (DACT) website.

Sheffield DACT: Domestic abuse.

View all services on the directory: Domestic and sexual abuse.

Hate crime and hate incidents

A hate crime is an incident you feel was motivated by prejudice or hate. This can because of your race, religious beliefs, sexuality or gender.

By reporting a hate crime or incident, you can help stop it happening to someone else. You will also help the police and partners to better understand the level of hate crime and improve the way we respond to it.

You can report hate crime and hate incidents by contacting South Yorkshire Police.

South Yorkshire Police: Hate crime.

Call: 101 (in an emergency call 999).

Scams and fraud

Age UK has lots of good advice about the different types of scams and fraud, including door step scams, postal scams, phone scams and cold calling. And they have dedicated advice on what to do if you are scammed.

Age UK: Scams and FraudWhat to do.

Staying safe

Sheffield Safe Places aims to support adults who may feel vulnerable when they are out and about in Sheffield. If someone needs help, for example they are lost, ill or frightened, then they can enter the nearest safe place to get help.

Sheffield Safe Places: What is Sheffield Safe Places?

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has advice on staying safe at home.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue: Safety advice.

You can also request a home safety visit.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue: Request a visit.

South Yorkshire Police has advice on tips on how you can prevent a burglary and how to secure your property and your vehicle.

South Yorkshire Police: Burglary.

South Yorkshire Police: Secure your home and your vehicle (PDF, 919 KB).

The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool used for early intervention and to reduce the risk around vulnerable people with Dementia or Alzheimer's who may be at risk of going missing.

You complete a form with information about someone so if they are missing, the police can get access to important information about that person as soon as possible. If a loved one goes missing, it can be deeply distressing and upsetting for family and friends. Being asked by a police officer to recall lots of detailed information can add to this stress, and therefore the process is designed to remove some of the worry.Herbert Protocol wristband and tag

When the form is completed the police can provide a wristband or tag the person can wear.

The police program this so it holds their personal details and an emergency contact telephone number.

If the person goes missing the police or a health professional can access the information on the wristband or tag to help the person get to safety.

Find out more and download a form to complete.

South Yorkshire Police: Herbert Protocol.

View all services in the directory for:

adult abuse.

child/young person abuse.

domestic and sexual abuse.







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