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CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY

NCJ Number
60651
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
Unknown
Length
6 pages
Annotation
ATTENTION IS FOCUSED ON THE PROBLEM OF ELDERLY CRIME VICTIMIZATION, CRIME STATISTICS CONCERNING THE ELDERLY, AND THE PREVENTION OF CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY BY STATE LEGISLATIVE PLANS.
Abstract
BECAUSE OF THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF LOW INCOMES AMONG THE ELDERLY, THE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON ELDERLY VICTIMS IS GENERALLY GREATER THAN IN THE GENERAL POPULATION. OLDER PEOPLE ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO LIVE ALONE, TO LIVE IN HIGH CRIME NEIGHBORHOODS, AND TO RELY ON WALKING AND PULBIC TRANSPORTATION. ELDERLY PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY LESS ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF DIMINISHED STRENGTH AND PHYSICAL AILMENTS; DATES OF THE RECEIPT OF PENSIONS AND OTHER BENEFIT CHECKS ARE WIDELY KNOWN. ALSO THE ELDERLY ARE PARTICULARLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO FRAUD AND CONFIDENCE GAMES. TRADITIONAL CRIME STATISTICS DO NOT ADEQUATELY REFLECT THE EXTENT OF ELDERLY VICTIMIZATION. MANY LOCAL POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES DO NOT COLLECT DATA ON THE AGE OF VICTIMS; THEREFORE, THE FBI'S CRIME REPORTS DO NOT REFLECT THIS INFORMATION. THE LEAA HAS CONDUCTED VICTIMIZATION SURVEYS IN 26 LARGE CITIES, THAT VICTIMIZATION RATES WERE GENERALLY LOWER AMONG THE ELDERLY THAN AMONG OTHER AGE GROUPS. HOWEVER, THE RATE OF PERSONAL LARCENY WITH CONTACT (INCLUDING PURSESNATCHING AND PICKPOCKETING), WAS HIGHER FOR VICTIMS OVER 50 YEARS OF AGE IN 19 OF THE 26 CITIES, DESPITE THE LOWER OVERALL VICTIMIZATION RATE FOR THE ELDERLY. A 3-YEAR STUDY OF ROBBERIES IN OAKLAND, CALIF., RELEASED IN 1974, CONCLUDED THAT OLDER PERSONS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, ARE THE GROUP MOST VULNERABLE TO ROBBERIES. ANOTHER STUDY, CONDUCTED IN KANSAS CITY, MO., TO EVALUATE CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST PERSONS OVER 60 YEARS OF AGE, FOUND THAT THE MOST FREQUENT CRIMES ARE BURGLARY, ROBBERY, LARCENY, ASSAULT, FRAUD, AND RAPE, IN THAT ORDER. A NATIONAL SURVEY REPORTED THAT ELDERLY PERSONS RANK FEAR OF CRIME AS THE MOST SERIOUS PROBLEM CONFRONTING THEM. THE 1971 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING MADE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEALING MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY, AND LEGISLATION WAS INTRODUCED IN THE 94TH CONGRESS WHICH WOULD REQUIRE STATES RECEIVING GRANTS FROM THE LEAA TO INCLUDE PROVISIONS IN THEIR PLANS FOR PREVENTING CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY. A LIST OF SELECTED REFERENCES IS PRESENTED. (DEP)