Falkirk organisations urge people to report concerns they have for vulnerable people

Groups across the Falkirk area are raising awareness of the various ways vulnerable adults may be at risk of harm and how people can report concerns.
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Marking National Adult Support and Protection Awareness Day – which falls on Tuesday, February 20 – teams across Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, Falkirk Council, NHS Forth Valley, Scottish Fire and Rescue, and third sector organisations are encouraging people to say something if they see something they think is not right.

This year’s awareness day theme highlights the emerging and growing issue of “sextortion” scams, which involve fraudsters using the threat of sharing sexual information, photos, or videos to demand money or pressure people into sending further information.

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Gemma Ritchie, of Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Harm can happen anywhere – in someone’s home, where they work, or in a public place and can take many forms.

This year's awareness day theme highlights the emerging and growing issue of cyber 'sextortion’ scams
(Picture: Submitted)This year's awareness day theme highlights the emerging and growing issue of cyber 'sextortion’ scams
(Picture: Submitted)
This year's awareness day theme highlights the emerging and growing issue of cyber 'sextortion’ scams (Picture: Submitted)

"Whether it be physical, psychological, financial, or sexual harm, unfortunately it is often caused by people closest to the vulnerable individual. This years’ theme of sextortion shows the new ways criminals can use personal information and relationships to control behaviour or cause financial harm.

"It is a form of blackmail which can have devastating consequences, but victims of this type of crime should know that judgement-free support is available.”

Anyone can be a victim of crime or harm, but organisers of the awareness day want people to look out especially for those who are more at risk because of their physical or mental health condition, illness, reliance on others for care, or experience of previous trauma.

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It’s important to speak up about any concerns you have, as the person may not be able to do so themselves.

Brenda Walker, national adult support and protection coordinator for Scotland, said: “The current cost of living crisis is making it even more difficult for those looking after others, or struggling to take care of themselves, so it’s more important right now to keep your eyes open for signs of harm.

"Everyone has a role to play in keeping those in their communities safe, so I would encourage anyone who has seen something that worries them to please say something.”

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