In recent years there has been an increased emphasis on violence and abuse within society generally. Following a focus in the United Kingdom (UK) on child abuse in the 1970s and domestic violence in the 1980s, in the 1990s the abuse and neglect of older people began to elicit concern. The initial focus of interest was of situations arising in the domestic setting. More recently, however, much needed attention has shifted to situations involving institutional settings. This paper will discuss abuse and neglect occurring in the UK. It aims to provide a brief overview of the status of current knowledge concerning abuse of older people followed by a discussion of some of the issues relating to the prevention of abuse and neglect from a UK perspective. An exploration of some of the issues involved will contribute to our understanding of abuse and neglect of older people in the UK.