South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board 
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May 2017

Welcome to the new-look South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board newsletter.


In this edition:
  • Feedback from joint Safeguarding Adults conference with Bristol SAB, October 2016
  • Stop Adult Abuse Week 2017 – dates for your diaries and what's planned
  • Spotlight on Judith Eke, Team Manager in the council's Adult Safeguarding Team 
  • Mass marketing fraud (often called scams): Charlotte Allard from Trading Standards explains the local picture, what's being done to tackle it and how you can help
  • New logos chosen for South Gloucestershire children and adult safeguarding boards
  • News or information you'd like to share with other board agencies or the public
If you have any comments on this issue or articles/ideas on what you would like to see in future editions, please contact Sarah Taylor, Safeguarding Boards Business Manager Sarah.Taylor2@southglos.gov.uk or 01454 863136


Feedback from our second Joint Safeguarding Adults Conference with Bristol, October 2016
Theme: Safeguarding and Mental Capacity


South Gloucestershire SAB held a second joint event with Bristol SAB on 11 October at BAWA. Over 140 delegates attended the half-day conference, with a very good representation from staff and managers working within South Gloucestershire. Attendees came from the local authority, health agencies and a wide range of organisations in the local independent, voluntary and private sectors.
 
Three speakers gave presentations and took questions from the audience. They were:
 
* Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales
Sir James focused on the role of mental capacity assessments in safeguarding and the need for good evidence in these assessments, sharing his wide experience at a high level in this field of work.

* Beccy Wardle, Senior Practitioner from The Care Forum
Beccy spoke about the work of the IMCA Service locally, stressing the need to refer for statutory advocacy, and why IMCA and Care Act Advocacy are real and valuable safeguards for people.

* Sanchita Hosali of the British Institute of Human Rights
Sanchita described two national projects her organisation has worked on recently with regard to mental health and mental capacity, and shared the learning from this work. 

Feedback from delegates about the speakers and the event as a whole was overwhelmingly positive. Comments on what they would take away form the conference included:

  • People not just service users
  • Go to Code of Practice more
  • Listen
  • Share information
  • Gather evidence
Date for your diary:
The two SABs are now planning a 3rd joint Conference for 13 June 2017, during Stop Adult Abuse Week.
Find out more and book your place.

South Gloucestershire Stop Adult Abuse Week 2017
 

Stop Adult Abuse Week runs from Monday 12 to Friday 16 June

Building on last year's collaboration with neighbouring areas to raise awareness and encourage reporting, we are working with Bristol City, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset and North Somerset Councils to promote messages around the joint theme 'Safe at home'. Publicity and social media to the public, professionals and service users will focus on:


12 June - Prevention: led by Bath and North East Somerset
13 June - Self Neglect: led by Bristol
14 June - Financial abuse – led by South Gloucestershire
15 June - Scams – led by Somerset
16 June - When and how to report – led by North Somerset
 
Please look out for social media posts and help pass on the key messages for the week.

Spotlight on Judith Eke, Team Manager in the council's Adult Safeguarding Team

You may well have met Judith (Judy) since she took on her new role when Sheila Turner retired in September. But here's a summary of her in Judy's own words:

"I have always worked in adult social care - I had a part time job in a local nursing home when I was still at school. After University (for a degree in Philosophy and Politics) I started working as an Assistant Manager in an elderly persons home run by Avon County Council. That was in the mid-1980s when the world was a different place – there were no such things as adult safeguarding or mental capacity. I was very lucky in that the Council paid for me to do my social work qualification on a part-time basis while I was still working. After I qualified I carried on working in elderly people’s homes, and worked my way up the ladder to eventually become the manager of a specialist dementia home in what was by then North Somerset.

 

When a colleague in the local social work team went off long term sick, I was asked to cover his role. I stayed in that team for two years and really enjoyed supporting people to live in their own homes. I then took a career break of almost ten years in order to have my family and returned to work for South Gloucestershire in 2008 as a social worker in the Duty Team. During the time I had been away the world had transformed itself. Everyone spoke a different language – the Mental Capacity Act and No Secrets had come along, and the office was filled with computers!

 

It didn’t take me long to realise how much I enjoyed the safeguarding element of my work and when the Access Team was formed (where all the individual safeguarding investigations are carried out) I joined that team as a Senior Practitioner. I was really happy in that role – supporting social workers and chairing safeguarding meetings, and never had any plans to leave it until Sheila Turner told me she was planning to retire. I had always thought her job sounded interesting so I started to research exactly what it involved. The more I found out the more excited I became about it. I must have driven my family nuts in the run up to the interviews, especially when I had to plan my presentation – the poor dog listened to it several times a day for about a week while I perfected it! Now I am in the role, I am really enjoying myself – the work is very varied and very challenging, but it is rewarding to know that I am able to make a real difference to people’s lives.

 

On a more personal note, most people know me by my purple hair! I started dying it about eighteen months ago when my (now teenage) daughters dared me. I love it – it still makes me smile when I look in the mirror in the mornings."

Mass marketing fraud (scams): Charlotte Allard from Trading Standards explains the local picture, what's being done to tackle it and how you can help


Thank you to everyone who listened to the presentation my colleague Neil Derrick and I gave to the Board in March.

Trading Standards are committed to getting scams recognised for what they are – namely financial exploitation of vulnerable people and the criminal act of fraud.

Mass marketing fraud is not simply junk mail. It is about the carrying out of ‘scams’ - schemes to con people out of money - using mass marketing techniques such as mail drops, telephone cold calling and emails. These communications may be disguised as foreign lottery wins, prize draw notifications, clairvoyant or psychic letters, investment opportunities, romance, advance fee services (such as paying someone to claim compensation on your behalf for mis-sold insurance or other financial services) and phishing. Recipients will be asked for money upfront and may also be asked for personal and banking information. Once a victim responds they are seen as a ‘soft target’, someone who will respond and send money. Their details will be sold on and they will be targeted by many fraudsters. Some victims can receive hundreds of letters a week and are inundated with telephone calls or emails.

Perpetrators will employ many different tactics to ensure their targets continue to send them money or give out personal information, including befriending, harassment and intimidation.  They will include confidentiality statements in their communications, very short deadlines for responses, ‘government/legal speak’ or blackmail. They can be plausible, believable and coercive.

This type of financial exploitation mostly originates from overseas, making enforcement very difficult on a local level and education, advice and support even more vital.

The local picture
With regard to mail fraud, our team has met victims from every socio-economic background, every family dynamic and from most areas of South Gloucestershire. The only commonality appears to be age, with most (not all) victims being 65 and older. Experience indicates this is a similar situation for telephone and email scams. Isolation, declining mental health and a lack of family or a support network also seem to be characteristics of many victims. Here are just two local examples:

Mr W (in his 60s) from Thornbury was married, owned his own home and had a good relationship with his children. Financially he was comfortable and heading for retirement. In his early 60s he got a laptop, the first computer he had ever had. He has since sent over £100,000 over a period of 4-6 years in response to email scams promising him winnings from lotteries across the world. He is now divorced as a result of his actions and is estranged from his children. He only has his pension and is reliant upon the Council for housing and support.

Mrs X, aged in her 50s from Kingswood. She works and has a strong family network. She received a telephone call purporting to be from the Ministry of Defence in Liverpool telling her she had won money on the Irish lottery. She ended up sending over £70,000 to the fraudsters. She took out loans, maxed out credit cards and borrowed money from family.

What impact does mass marketing fraud have on its victims?
It is estimated that only 5% of scams are reported to the authorities. This may be because victims feel embarrassed, ashamed, put it down to experience or fear they may lose their independence if they admit to falling for such a con. Some may also not know whether what has happened constitutes a crime and do not wish to ‘bother’ the authorities. Trading Standards knows the identity of many targets in South Gloucestershire, but previously unknown victims are always coming to our attention.

Victims are often told to keep their ‘winnings’ a secret from family or the authorities who will just want it for themselves. This can lead to family breakdowns and further isolation.

What’s being done
As well as all the educational and profile raising activities we undertake, the trading Standards team also speaks to the families of victims to offer practical advice about the steps they can take to help support their loved ones, often signposting them to organisations and charities who can help.

We can provide nuisance telephone call blocking units to those who struggle to cope with the volume and content of marketing and scams telephone calls. As well as visiting banks and post offices to raise awareness about the issue, we have spoken to adult care social workers to open communication channels and help identify victims of mass marketing fraud.

With regard to safeguarding, many of the victims identified are deemed to have capacity to make their own financial decisions which limits the options available to provide the ongoing support many need.
But if, in the course of your work, you come across anyone who you think may have been a victim, please let us know. It is important that contact is made quickly, not only for evidence gathering but officers may be able to prevent money being handed over in the first place.

For further information:
http://www.thinkjessica.com/ is a charity website that aims to raise the profile of mass marketed fraud and the impact it has on its victims and their families. It includes useful stories and DVDs.

See the Fraud and Scam Prevention page of the LSCB website for advice on spotting, discussing and reporting it.
 
If you would like to discuss these issues further, please contact me (01454 864570) or Neil Derrick (01454 864565) from the Trading Standards team.

And finally…you should have by now seen the new Board logos, as produced by the children and young people and the Safeguarding Adults and Safeguarding Children Boards:

If you have any news or information to share with other board agencies or the public via this newsletter, please contact: 
Sarah Taylor, Safeguarding Boards Business Manager Sarah.Taylor2@southglos.gov.uk or 01454 863136