Anti-Abuse Powers To Be Approved

Tough new powers to prevent the abuse of vulnerable adults are to be endorsed by MSPs. The reforms are partly driven by a case in the Borders where a woman was persistently abused by her carers.

The new laws, which oblige local authorities to intervene where abuse is suspected, are aimed at ending the uncertainty over who takes charge. In exceptional circumstances, a sheriff could permit a council to act without the consent of the adult at risk.

Most care workers back the change, but some feel the new measure goes too far. MSPs argue the new power would be used very rarely, if at all.

The new law also clarifies the rules over power of attorney – where control of assets can be transferred if an adult has become incapable of taking decisions.

It is thought 10,000 elderly folk in Scotland face abuse of some sort each year. Younger, vulnerable adults can also be at risk, as the Miss X Borders case showed.