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New policy for crimes against the elderly 16/10/2013 COPFS has published a new prosecution policy aimed at dealing with crimes against older people.

New policy for crimes against the elderly

COPFS has published a new prosecution policy aimed at dealing with crimes against older people.

At the moment there is no statutory definition of a crime against an older person, and no general statutory offence of neglect of an older person. However, the policy was thought necessary because older people can be targeted because of their perceived or actual vulnerability, or their unequal access to safety.

Crimes against older people often take place in the context of sexual, physical or financial abuse, neglect and mistreatment where they live, whether this is in a care home, their own home or hospital.

The key consideration for prosecutors will be where a crime is aggravated by the fact that it has taken place in the context of the victim being targeted because of vulnerability or perceived vulnerability on the basis of their age or perceived age.

The new policy advocates a strong presumption in favour of prosecution where the crime is committed against an older person.

“Our new guidance for prosecutors recognises the diversity in the circumstances of older people and the discrimination they can face, not only by reason of their age, but also because of their ethnicity, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, sexuality or disability,” explains Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC.

 

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