CRIME against older people isn’t well understood, and the police and Crown Prosecution Service should be better prepared to deal with an ageing population a top level report has warned.
It says older people who have been the victims of crime are often let down by the police and wider criminal justice system which does not always understand their needs and experiences.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) found that the police have only a “superficial understanding” of the nature and extent of crimes against older people, which often results in a poorer service to older victims.
Older people account for 18 percent of the population, but over eight out of ten victims of doorstop scams are elderly, and they also comprise a quarter of domestic homicide victims.
Despite this, and the fact that we have an increasingly ageing population, the two inspectorates found that the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lacked any joint cohesive and focused strategy to deal with older victims of crime.
The report – ‘The poor relation. The police and CPS response to crimes against older people’ – praised the work of police officers in their initial dealings with older crime victims, including attending promptly to reports of crime from older victims.
But afterwards, officers struggled to deal with some of the complex needs of older people which meant that older people were not always properly safeguarded.
As an example, in 153 cases where a safeguarding referral should have been made by police to the local authority, on 77 occasions there was no evidence of this taking place.