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The role of the Office of the Public Guardian in investigations of abuse

Peter Hartley‐Jones (Based at the Office of the Public Guardian, London, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 17 June 2011




This paper aims to examine the investigation process employed by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This process is used whenever an allegation of abuse is received against either an attorney acting under a registered lasting or enduring power of attorney or against a deputy appointed by the court of protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity to make those decisions themselves.


Case studies are used to demonstrate both how the investigation process works in practice and how one works in partnership with other organisations to help safeguard vulnerable adults.


The OPG works in partnership with a range of other relevant organisations to protect vulnerable adults from financial abuse. It details the types of activities, the OPG investigating officer may undertake to examine allegations of abuse and the targets set to help ensure any allegations are investigated promptly and effectively.


The duties bestowed upon the public guardian under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, together with a general growing awareness of financial abuse, have had a significant impact upon the work of the investigations team. The case studies included exemplify the kinds of outcomes in cases of abuse and also demonstrate how Attorneys are subject to the same investigative scrutiny as court appointed deputies.



Hartley‐Jones, P. (2011), "The role of the Office of the Public Guardian in investigations of abuse", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 160-166.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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