Review of Adult Protection Reports Resulting in “No Further Action” Decisions

Martin Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In Scotland, the Adult Support and Protection Act of 2007 mandates effective interagency policies and activities to prevent harm to individuals unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, and rights because they are affected by “disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity.” In this paper, the author examined the high proportion of adult protection referrals that resulted in “No Further Action” (NFA) decisions (these are referrals that did not lead to a full adult protection investigation).
The review involved examining police referral data from 15 areas in Scotland as well as referral reports received over a 3-month period in one representative area. Data sources were case files, national reports, and Freedom of Information requests. Interviews conducted with key personnel were supplemented with statistical data with a view to making recommendations. Screening criteria
for referral, main contributory factors in referral, and reasons for NFA decisions were analysed. It was found that, typically, more than 40% of adult protection referrals made by the police to adult protection teams resulted in NFA decisions. Variations in the interpretation of threshold criteria were observed, and there was a perception of over reporting. The high proportion of NFA outcomes has implications for Scottish policy and practice and may offer lessons for international applications. While over reporting of cases may have implications for resources and impact on the process, the dangers of underreporting may have more detrimental implications for adults with intellectual disabilities. More robust data and recording processes are needed to determine how effectively different systems are protecting adults who are most at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215
Number of pages221
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Early online date10 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • adult protection
  • referrals


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