More vulnerable people are being abused and neglected across Sheffield, according to new figures.
Incidents reported to Sheffield’s Safeguarding Adults Partnership increased by over a quarter last year – with more than half involving elderly people suspected of being badly treated.
In 2012/13 there were 2,633 cases of abuse or neglect, compared to 2,069 the year before, a rise of 27 per cent.
The figures are revealed in Sheffield’s Safeguarding Adults Annual Report, which goes before the council’s health and social care scrutiny committee on Wednesday.
The report said there were more than 500 cases where people with learning disabilities were abused.
Nearly 250 incidents were classed as ‘financial abuse’, while physical abuse took place in 235 cases.
“Age continues to be a significant factor, with 1,464 alerts being identified as older adults aged over 65,” said the report.
“Of these people, 592 were over 85 years old.”
The report added: “The vast majority of abuse takes place in an individual’s own home, often with family and friends as perpetrators.
“Often this is the main carer, a trend that is increasing. A person’s home is inevitably the least regulated environment.
“There has also been an increase in the number of social care staff identified as perpetrators.”
Stricter monitoring and financial pressures on care staff could have led to the rise.
“Patterns of multiple abuse are emerging where neglect and financial abuse combine. There is the potential for this to increase and become a major priority.”
Referrals came from care homes, doctors and families, among other sources.
GPs had expressed concerns more often and last year were the second-largest provider of referrals.
In the report, the Safeguarding Adults Partnership said it attributed the 27 per cent increase in alerts to ‘increased awareness’, partly driven by high-profile cases such as the Mid Staffordshire Hospitals scandal, where poor care and high death rates were exposed.
“A mapping exercise to demonstrate the incidence of abuse across the city has been agreed, and will support more targeted interventions in future years.”