34 Enquiry by local authority
This clause places a duty on local authorities to make enquiries, or to ask others to make enquiries, where they reasonably suspect that an adult in its area with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect. The purpose of the enquiry is to establish what, if any, action is required in relation to the case. This clause supplements the existing obligations on other organisations to look after the people in their care effectively, or, in the case of the police, to prevent and respond to criminal activity. It applies to adults currently in its geographical area, whether or not the person is ordinarily resident there, and regardless of whether the authority is meeting their care and support needs.
(1) Where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there)—
(a) has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
(b) is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
(c) as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it, it must make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to enable it to decide whether any action should be taken in the adult’s case (whether under this Part or otherwise) and, if so, what and by whom.
(2) “Abuse” includes—
(a) having money or other property stolen,
(b) being defrauded,
(c) being put under pressure in relation to money or other property, and
(d) having money or other property misused.