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Elder abuse is a crime - now let's make it oneHigh Court

The Criminal Justice system is failing to protect older victims of abuse and neglect. Most cases are never prosecuted – although many should be – and police cautions are used as a cheap and easy way of avoiding the time and cost of prosecution (cautions are not criminal convictions). And even when cases are taken to court the result is invariably a suspended sentence or community service. When is this going to end?

It doesn’t seem to matter how cruel someone is to a frail older person, or when they inflict their cruelty, our Criminal Justice System will still deliver what amounts to only a mild rebuke to the perpetrator. Is it any wonder that abuse continues and continues?

We are proposing an aggravated offence of elder abuse that would take account of the frailty of victims and the circumstances of the abuse. Theft, for example does not kill younger victims, but it can kill older ones because trauma has a negative effect on the immune system of older people. if we rightly accept the argument about ‘aggravated offences’ for racially/religiously motivated crimes, why not for older people?

Our campaign to challenge this is running across all four of the nations that make up Action on Elder Abuse.

If you agree with us then please sign our petition to the Home Office demanding that the abuse and neglect of older people be made a crime.

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