Vulnerable adult crime unit gets 300 Cambridgeshire referrals in first three months

A NEW unit dedicated to dealing with crimes involving vulnerable adults in Cambridgeshire has received more than 300 referrals in its first three months.

The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA), made up of representatives from the police, fire service, Peterborough City Council and health services, was launched on July 4.

There are currently 86 live criminal investigations under way in relation to reports of crimes against vulnerable adults - with offences including financial abuse and theft.

Detective Inspector Chris Balmer said: “In the past three months the SOVA team have received a number of referrals in relation to vulnerable adults.

“Having this shared unit means we can quickly establish which agencies need to respond to any concerns about a vulnerable person and whether or not any criminal investigation is needed.

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“Cases under investigation include financial abuse or items going missing from the home of someone being cared for and vulnerable adults with unexplained injuries.”

The team works alongside the force’s Adult Abuse Investigation Unit (AAIU) which investigates crimes involving vulnerable victims, including financial, emotional, physical, sexual and domestic abuse.

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Other agencies involved in SOVA assist with referrals about vulnerable people who have specific health needs which need further assistance or whose care needs require a review.

Mark Howe, safeguarding lead for NHS Peterborough, said: “The introduction of the SOVA unit means a more joined up approach and an enhanced understanding of each others’ business areas.”

Anyone with information about or concerns about a vulnerable adult who is the victim of a crime should contact police on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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