Fear of scams tops crime poll

Pictured at the event are Deirdre McCloskey, MEAAP; Stuart Gibson, PSNI Crime Prevention Officer; Neil Herron, Carrickfergus PCSP;  Marjorie Hawkins, vice chair Carrickfergus PCSP;  Inspector Martin Ruddy; Bill Carson, Age Sector Platform, and Alison Kane, Carrickfergus PCSP.  INCT 51-726-CON
Pictured at the event are Deirdre McCloskey, MEAAP; Stuart Gibson, PSNI Crime Prevention Officer; Neil Herron, Carrickfergus PCSP; Marjorie Hawkins, vice chair Carrickfergus PCSP; Inspector Martin Ruddy; Bill Carson, Age Sector Platform, and Alison Kane, Carrickfergus PCSP. INCT 51-726-CON

Fear of scams, burglary, and anti-social behaviour are causing most concern for older people in Carrickfergus, a report has found.

The figures were revealed following a series of ‘Feel Safe and Sound’ consultation events, hosted by the Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership.

MEAAP surveyed 150 older people throughout September, October and November in Carrick, Larne and Ballymena, with the local event attended by 41 people.

The report, released last week, indicates that older residents’ fear of crime increased at night, with over half of Carrick respondents saying they felt more vulnerable when away from home in the evening.

Some 35 per cent of elderly residents in the borough indicated that being the victim of telephone, postal, or Internet scams were the type of crime they feared the most when at home, followed by burglary (25 per cent) and anti-social behaviour (19 per cent).

Meanwhile, aggressive sellers (31 per cent) and car crime (20 percent) were highlighted as the top areas of concern when older people were ‘out and about’.

With half of those surveyed indicating that they would feel most comfortable reporting crime by telephone, a large portion (26 per cent) also reported that increased home security measures at home would make them feel safer, followed by a befriending service (21 percent).

The consultation results follow a call from Commissioner for Older People, Claire Keatinge, who urged the PSNI and Policing Board to put specific targets in place to reduce crime against older people.