Police in Dudley deliver safeguarding training to banks
Officers from Dudley have been raising awareness around the vulnerability and exploitation of people using local bank branches.
Staff in financial institutions such as banks should be aware of the prevalence of financial abuse of older and vulnerable people and be alert to signs that it may be taking place.
PC Sarah Nixon and PC Wayne Trueman have been to branches in Merry Hill to ensure staff know what to look out for, and who to contact when they have concerns but a crime hasn’t taken place.
Sarah Nixon the Vulnerability, Early Help & Referral Officer for Dudley, said: “A recent study by Age UK found that over 130,000 over 65s have suffered financial abuse. At the last census almost a quarter of people living here in Dudley were aged 60 or above. Since 2011 that figure has more than likely increased.
“We also know that vulnerable adults are more likely to entrust others with their financial affairs. If that trust is abused, they may suffer a significant financial loss.”
Protecting vulnerable people is an integral part of policing Dudley and the wider West Midlands; we’re continually working with other groups to prevent risk and experiences of abuse and neglect.
Sarah and Wayne have been carrying out simple, highly effective awareness raising; letting staff know what support is out there, and encouraging them to signpost customers where appropriate, in a bid to prevent financial abuse taking place.
“Almost everyone has a bank account so there is a huge opportunity for banks to spot people who may need a little extra support” added Sarah.
If staff are worried someone is at risk, or just generally struggling they can let them and their families know about Dudley based agencies like Living Well, Feeling Safe and Dudley Telecare and other well known charities.
In more extreme cases, for example if the person isn’t of sound mind and doesn’t have a support network, staff can submit a referral to the Dudley multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) by calling 0300 555 0050 or online.
The MASH brings together key professionals from organisations across the borough, including the council, police, probation, NHS and the voluntary sector. Anyone is free to make a referral to the MASH if they have concerns for a vulnerable adult, or child.
For more information on safeguarding in Dudley please Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council safeguarding site.
If you want to know about safeguarding in your area, contact your local council or police partnerships team.