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Crime, Policing and Justice: The Experience of Older People

NCJ Number
Natalia Chivite-Matthews; Penelope Maggs
Date Published
August 2002
78 pages
Based on data from the British Crime Survey, this report documents the victimization of older people in Great Britain, their fear of crime, the use of security precautions, and confidence in the police and the criminal justice system.
From 1991 to 1999, the criminal victimization of people over 60 years old has remained more or less constant at 12 percent to 14 percent, which is much lower than victimization for the other age groups. The fear of crime among older people is at levels similar to other age groups despite their lower levels of victimization. Older women are more likely than older men to fear household or personal crime. Older people who perceive their health to be poor tend to worry more about victimization than those who perceive their health to be fair to very good. Persons 60 years old and older as well as those over 30 years old are more likely to use security devices at home than those under 30 years old. In terms of vehicle security, the young and the old apparently have fewer security devices than the 30- to 59-year-olds. Personal security is more prevalent among the youngest age groups; they are more likely to carry weapons or to have taken a self-defense course. Older people tend to have a better opinion of most criminal justice system agencies than those ages 30- to 59-years-old. On the other hand, persons over 60 years old are less likely to feel that witnesses are very/fairly well treated by the police, but they are more likely to feel that witnesses are very/fairly well treated by the courts than the other age groups. They are more likely to believe that court sentences are much too lenient. Extensive tables and figures, a glossary of terms, and 18 references