Media

Our criminalisation campaign, to make elder abuse an aggravated offence, has enjoyed a huge amount of coverage in the Daily Express newspaper, they have called it "Daily Express Crusade: Respect for the Elderly". See below for a couple of the stories:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1016854/uk-crime-elderly-people-vulnerable-target-fraud-attacks-hate-crime

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1009308/violence-against-elderly-soars-to-new-high

If you would like more information on our campaign or would like to support our campaign please click on the link below:

https://www.elderabuse.org.uk/Pages/Category/criminalisation

Conference

This year’s conference took place on 15th June, which was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in London Our theme this year was ‘Domestic Abuse and Older People’. 

We had five plenary speakers and ended the day with a panel discussion featuring a number of those speakers. There was also the usual range of choices of workshops covering issues both around domestic abuse and other subjects that delegates had requested us to cover in feedback from previous conferences.

Once again, the conference was well attended and attracted over 100 delegates.

From feedback we obtained overall 98% Good/Excellent.

Some comments where:

“Good range of topics and workshops - hard to choose which workshop as all relevant”

 

“I genuinely found the conference to be extremely informative and interesting. No criticism”

 

“Delighted to see AEA growing in stature”

 

“Well put together for not only current but new thought patterns”

Policy

The Home Office is introducing a new super-complaints system. The Police super-complaints system allows designated organisations to raise issues on behalf of the public about harmful patterns or trends in policing.

The super-complaints system, set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, will complement existing complaints procedures. Once a policing super-complaint is received, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services will work with the Independent Office for Police Conduct, College of Policing, and others as required, to review the evidence provided by the designated body and agree an appropriate response.

Sixteen organisations demonstrated that they met all of the criteria and were designated by the Home Secretary in regulations laid before Parliament on 25 June 2018. We are delighted to have successfully applied to be one of them. We demonstrated our ability to meet nine criteria as part of a rigorous application process.

We anticipate using the new system by collecting data from our helpline to identify shortcomings in the police response to elder abuse, based on similarities in individual instances we encounter. This is just the latest avenue to pursue in taking our battle to eradicate the abuse of older people to decision-makers.

The new system is due to take effect on 1st November, by which time we will have received full instructions on its use.

The Home Office have agreed to HMICFRS carrying out a review of older people’s experiences of the criminal justice system.

In line with their Joint Inspection Methodology, HMICFRS is planning an expert reference group for this inspection to represent the key stakeholders, facilitate consultation and provide advice to the inspection team on strategic, technical and/or operational issues within this area.

AEA are pleased to have been invited to be on the reference group.

Is a Lasting Power of Attorney risk-free? Hardly.

Our trustee Denzil Lush recently caused a stir on Radio 4’s Today programme when he explained why he has ruled out ever appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to manage his financial affairs. Denzil has only recently retired as the Senior Judge of the Court of Protection there can surely be few people better placed or qualified to pass comment on the subject.

So what’s wrong with the LPA system? As you might expect our concerns lie around the ease with which it can be abused, intentionally or otherwise.  The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has successfully increased the take-up of LPAs by the public through awareness campaigns in recent times. No harm there – it can only be positive to get people thinking about a possible future scenario where they need assistance in managing their affairs. However, they have steadily tinkered with the guidance they provide to potential donors, attorneys and even those tasked with declaring the mental capacity or otherwise of the donor.

Perhaps the most important aspect in all this is the inference, as part of the OPG’s awareness campaign and current information on its website, that there is no alternative to LPAs when it comes to managing the affairs of people with diminished capacity. This is clearly not the case as we also have a system for deputyship in this country. For those unfamiliar with the fundamental difference between the two, LPAs are created while the donor still has mental capacity while deputyships are appointed by the Court of Protection when the individual no longer has capacity. But the differences extend beyond that.

The truth is that there is considerably more safeguarding involved in deputyships:

  • A deputy has an obligation to submit annual reports and accounts to the OPG
  • A financial security bond is often put in place for deputies to cover any financial losses incurred by the person without capacity abuse of the process
  • The deputy receives considerably more support in discharging their duties than an attorney under LPA
  • A much wider range of views from interested parties such as family members can be considered by the Court when appointing deputies

There have been dissenting voices in response to Denzil’s declared position. Some say that LPAs are enacted without problems in the majority of case. That may be true but we know, both from Denzil’s experience and from the many calls we get to our helpline, that when LPAs go wrong they can have devastating effects. Critics also point out the additional costs in running a deputyship. True again, but these fees are small change in comparison to the costs likely to be faced if an LPA goes wrong.

AEA in England is going to be looking at this issue in much greater detail over the coming year. We think that change is needed but also that everyone involved in the LPA process deserves more thorough, impartial guidance to help make genuinely informed decisions.