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Publication, Part of

Safeguarding Adults England, 2019-20

Official statistics

Current Chapter

Safeguarding Adults England, 2019-20


This publication provides the findings from the Safeguarding Adults Collection (SAC) for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. Safeguarding Adults is a statutory duty for Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities in England under the Care Act 2014, in order to safeguard adults from abuse or neglect. The data is collected directly from these councils, also known as ‘local authorities’ in this publication.

The aim of this publication is to inform users about aspects of safeguarding activity at national, regional and local level. It is labelled as Experimental Statistics as, due to local variation in how safeguarding activity is defined and reported, there are limitations in the interpretation and usage of the data.

The Adult Social Care Analytical Hub, which is an interactive business intelligence tool published alongside the data tables, presents further insight of the data, including breakdowns by local authority.

Adult Social Care Analytical Hub

This tool is in Microsoft PowerBI which does not fully support all accessibility needs.If you need further assistance, please contact us for help.

Safeguarding concerns

475,560 concerns of abuse were raised during 2019-20, an increase of 14.6% on the previous year. The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has not been a material factor in this increase as the pandemic only took hold at the very end of this annual period.

Section 42 enquiries

The number of Section 42 enquiries that commenced during the year increased by 12.9% to 161,910 and involved 129,525 individuals.

Other safeguarding enquiries

The number of Other enquiries decreased by 15.6% to 15,655 during the same period. This may have been influenced by a new framework for making decisions around safeguarding enquiries, introduced by the Local Government Association mid-way through 2019-20.

Type and location of risk

The most common type of risk in Section 42 enquiries that concluded in the year was Neglect and Acts of Omission, which accounted for 31.8% of risks, and the most common location of the risk was the person’s own home at 43.8%.


In 89.5% of concluded Section 42 enquiries where a risk was identified, the reported outcome was that risk was reduced or removed.

Last edited: 23 June 2021 5:31 pm