Information about safeguarding and our responsibilities

If you have an urgent concern where you believe an individual is at immediate risk of significant harm and you are not what to do, call the Police on 999.

Safeguarding is about protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.

North Devon Council has a legal duty to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

Making a safeguarding referral

Anyone can make a referral for a child, young person or adult who might be at risk of abuse and in need of safeguarding.

Safeguarding children

Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility. The Devon and Torbay Safeguarding Children Boards depend on everyone whether professionals, volunteers, parents or members of the public having an understanding of their own personal or professional responsibility to safeguard children.

If you are worried about a child or young person, please call 0345 155 1071 or 0845 600 0388 (out of working hours).

Safeguarding adults

The Care Act 2014 defines an adult at risk as someone over 18 years old who:

  • has care and support needs
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect
  • As a result of their care and support needs they are unable to protect his or herself against the abuse/neglect or the risk of it

If you have a concern call Care Direct on 0345 155 1007 or email

Care Direct is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. Outside of these hours and on Sundays and Bank Holidays and only in an emergency, please contact the Emergency Duty Service on 0845 600 0388. 


Counter Terrorism Policing also have a dedicated website if you have concerns about someone that might be vulnerable to radicalisation to share concerns