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Insp Mark Dickinson, Cllr Helen-Ann Smith and Council officers stood outside with a police car

Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme

As part of a scheme to help Ashfield’s vulnerable adults, the Council and Nottinghamshire Police have launched a joint programme to tackle serious violence, abuse and exploitation across the District.

The Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme (VASS) is an inter-disciplinary team comprising of vulnerability, domestic abuse, substance misuse, crime, and anti-social behaviour experts. It has been established to save lives and divert residents away from criminality.

Up to 15 adults, many with complex needs, will be supported at any one time by the scheme. They will be assisted through a package of support, with officers providing interventions, and exploring deep rooted issues such as mental health, substance misuse, and housing issues to divert them away from criminality and exploitation.


Cllr Helen-Ann Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Crime Reduction, said “So far the work undertaken by the scheme has been highly successful and has delivered many positive results, preventing residents from harm. The VASS has also increased the quality of life for the residents who have accessed the service.”


The VASS recently assisted a resident in Sutton who had been a victim of cuckooing. Cuckooing is the act of criminals taking over someone’s property to facilitate exploitation of the home owner. Officers intervened to ensure appropriate safeguards were put in place to prevent the criminals from entering the property. They also aided the resident to get help for their substance misuse, to help re-house them and to access counselling. The support from the Vulnerable Adult Support Scheme allowed the resident to live independently without constant fear of the criminals that were exploiting them.


Cllr Smith continued “The scheme is being managed by the Ashfield Community Safety Partnership and aims to make Ashfield a safer place to live, work and visit. It is a fantastic demonstration of partnership working between the Council and the police. By working together we are able to deliver a high quality, life saving programme across the District which is making a real difference to vulnerable residents.”
Sergeant Paul Peatfield, Nottinghamshire Police, said “The VASS has been running for just over a month now and has already developed some very positive results. This is due to our partnership approach to identify, support and safeguard adults who through substance misuse crime and criminal associates are particularly vulnerable to serious violence and exploitation. Our joined up approach means we all have immediate access to the appropriate agency and teams resulting in the right help and support being available for the individual concerned whilst seriously disrupting crime and exploitation.”