Investigators are helping catch criminals who exploit adults - The Coventry Observer

Investigators are helping catch criminals who exploit adults

Coventry Editorial 1st Apr, 2024   0

A SPECIALIST team of investigators are helping to catch criminals who harm and exploit vulnerable adults across the region.

West Midlands Police’s Adult Care Abuse Investigation Team (ACAIT) lead on cases where someone is in receipt of care, or has support needs, and is a victim of crime at the hands of someone in a position of trust.

The 16-strong unit investigates a range of serious allegations from physical or sexual abuse to fraud and neglect. They also carry out enquiries into potentially suspicious deaths.

The team is part of our wider public protection unit and has secured almost 70 convictions, involving crimes against adult victims who receive care, in the last 12 months. These are primarily for fraud, neglect and physical abuse.

Officers are often involved in complex and diligent enquiries and the team have managed to unearth some substantial frauds, sometimes involving tens of thousands of pounds.

Detective Inspector Alison Street, who heads the unit, said: “We’re investigating offences against some of the most vulnerable people within our communities; where the suspects are those they trust to help look after them.

“Our victims can have learning, mobility or other health difficulties, such as dementia, and rely on the support of others such as carers to get by day to day.

“These crimes are deeply distressing for the victim, and their relatives, and we’re fortunate to have such a dedicated team who are determined to get justice for the victims and provide them with a voice.

“It’s important to stress there are lots and lots of amazing people providing fantastic care – in their own homes or care settings – and really making a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable people. However my team investigates the ‘bad pennies’ who abuse their position to commit offences.

“We have a good working relationship with a range of partners and care providers to ensure anyone who does commit an offence is identified and punished when we can.”

Anyone worried they, or someone they know is suffering from abuse or exploitation by a person in a position of trust should contact police by calling 101 or via live chat on the force’s website.


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