Sepecialisation in adult protection in Kent Police and the role of the police in investigations

Publication Date13 Apr 2009
AuthorNigel White,Trevor Lawry
SubjectHealth & social care,Sociology
The Journal of Adult Protection Volume 11 Issue 1 • February 2009 © Pavilion Publishing (Journals) Limited 21
Practice paper
Brief overview
Responsibility rests with all public sector agencies locally
to work together to safeguard the vulnerable adults in
their communities. There remain key differences in lead
responsibilities, some depending on the nature of the adult
protection referral or alert. The primary responsibility to
co-ordinate policy and practice falls to local authorities as
overall lead agencies. Locally, this responsibility rests with
Kent and Medway social services departments and their
jointly led multi-agency safeguarding vulnerable adults
committee. Local authorities clearly have a duty to inform
the police where there are concerns that a criminal offence
may have been committed. Where a referral is made to
the police, it will be reviewed and a planning meeting will
then be held to ensure that all parties involved are aware
of both the concerns raised and also the agreed plan of
action. Following the planning meeting, several courses of
action could be taken, but often this will include a visit to
see the person who the agencies hold concerns about. The
police will always take the lead role in any investigation
where a crime has been reported or is suspected to
have occurred, although this does not preclude other
agencies such as social services undertaking protective
work in co-ordination with the police. At the end of the
investigation, the lead role will return to the local social
Specialisation in adult
protection in Kent Police
and the role of the police
in investigations
key words
Adult protection investigations,
police involvement, Kent Police
The police are key partners
in adult protection work locally
and take lead responsibility for
investigating alleged crimes
committed against vulnerable
adults in our communities. They
therefore play a critical role in
many serious and complex adult
protection investigations. This paper
describes how a large police service
has organised its adult protection
resources and maps out the basic
processes and responsibilities
involved in leading criminal
investigations involving vulnerable
adults. Using a case study it also
identies and examines the different
demands criminal work brings at the
inter-agency, agency and case levels
and identies solutions and pointers
for best practice.
Detective Constable
Nigel White
Adult Abuse Co-ordinator, Kent Police
Detective Inspector
Trevor Lawry
Policy and Compliance Manager, Kent Police

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