Abuse of elders and dependent adults is a crime. Abuse can take many forms, including physical and financial abuse or neglect. Suspected abuse should be reported to the local police and Adult Protective Services, the county agency responsible for investigating reports of abuse. Even when abuse cannot be substantiated as a crime, intervention may be necessary. The Public Guardian, using the civil process of conservatorship, may be able to prevent further abuse by taking steps, for example, to secure medical treatment or freeze assets.