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Protecting the Vulnerable

Dated: 23 May 2023

POLICY TITLE: Protecting the Vulnerable

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Crime and Safeguarding

AUTHOR: Detective Chief Inspector, Safeguarding




AIM OF POLICY: To ensure the early identification of the most vulnerable members of our community; to work with partner agencies to ensure that effective safeguarding measures are put in place; and to provide a robust policing response to bring to justice those perpetrators who may cause significant harm to vulnerable people.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: Community reassurance and confidence. Victims will be protected and supported; offenders will be made accountable for their actions through the criminal justice system.

REASON FOR POLICY: To promote understanding of Northumbria Police's role in the protection of victims and bringing offenders to justice.

Northumbria Police recognises that certain types of crime cause considerable public concern and certain categories of victims are vulnerable because of the repeating nature of the crime or anti-social behaviour (ASB) or the relationship between the victim and offender.

Northumbria Police will identify and protect vulnerable people in the Northumbria force area and work in partnership to implement appropriate safeguarding measures, bring offenders to justice, and contribute to the multi-agency management of offenders to reduce the risk of further offending.

Northumbria Police provides the following definition to assist identification of those vulnerable persons who require safeguarding activity by police and partner agencies:

'A person is vulnerable if, as a result of their situation or circumstances, they are unable to take care of themselves or others or protect themselves or others from harm or exploitation.’

The following factors may indicate that someone is vulnerable:

  • Repeat victimisation* (not restricted to the type of crime/ASB reported)
  • Family circumstances (e.g. child at risk, carer for vulnerable child or adult)
  • Personal circumstances (consumption/dependency upon drugs/alcohol; homelessness; experience of trauma)
  • Health (physical / mental / emotional well-being)
  • Equality and diversity (race, age, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, nationality, lifestyle choice.)
  • Economic circumstances.

Northumbria Police will concentrate and focus its efforts on the following persons who pose a risk of harm to the vulnerable, with a view to reducing the risk of further offending, and to bringing the perpetrators to justice where further harm has occurred:

  • Those individuals or groups who target the vulnerable within our communities.
  • Those individuals who are within the statutory Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework.
  • Those individuals who are not identified by one of the three categories within MAPPA but who are considered to be potentially dangerous persons.

* Repeat victimisation occurs when the same person or place suffers either crime or personal anti-social behaviour more than once in a three month period, with the exceptions of burglary dwelling and hate crime where the period is 12 months.

SOURCE DOCUMENTS: Human Rights Act, NPCC Guidance on Investigating Domestic Abuse, NPCC strategy on honour based violence, Hate Crime: Delivering a Quality Service Good Practice and Tactical Guidance (ACPO, 2005), NPIA Guidance on Investigating and Prosecuting Rape, and Care Act 2014, 'Care and Support - Statutory Guidance', ch 14.2.

GROUPS AFFECTED: All officers and staff


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