‘Offenders must be brought to justice’

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News

Crimes committed against older people are less likely to result in prosecution, Commissioner for Older People Claire Keatinge has said.

The Commissioner made the comments as part of a call for targets to be put in place to reduce crime against the elderly population.

Ms Keatinge said: “Crime against older people is universally condemned across our society and although the level of violent crime and burglary against older people is relatively low in Northern Ireland, each incident is traumatic for the victim and causes fear among the wider population.

“A recent analysis of PSNI statistics carried out by my office found that crimes committed against older people have a clearance rate of only 9 per cent compared with a rate of 17 per cent for other age groups, meaning that they are less likely to result in prosecution.

“This worrying statistic shows that something is going wrong in the response to crimes committed against older people, and that not enough is being done to support victims.

“Training for police officers in dealing with older victims of crime, with thorough collection of all available intelligence and forensic evidence to ensure a greater chance of bringing offenders to justice must be a priority.”

Meanwhile, a recent survey from the Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership found that fear of scams, anti-social behaviour, and burglary were the areas causing most concern for older people in Carrick.