Paschal McKeown, Head of Policy and Influencing, commented, 'Age NI condemns all crimes against older people. It is crucial that older people are able to feel safe and secure in their own homes and local communities and that steps are taken to prevent and tackle such crimes.'
Age NI is very aware that, while the likelihood of an older person being the victim of a crime is low, it is fear of crime that can often lead to isolation and lonelines. Once a person becomes a victim of crime, he or she may feel more vulnerable to further attacks. As a result, the person may choose to lock themselves in their own home and, as a result, lock themselves out of their communities.
As a society, we can all do our bit to keep communities safer and reduce fear of crime by looking out for our older neighbours and friends and supporting them to remain active and socially connected to their local communities.
Older people may lower the risk of burglary by taking the following preventative steps:
- secure all doors and windows
- don’t be embarrassed about refusing to let someone into your home
- make sure that a caller is genuine - check ID and remember to lock, stop, chain, check
- install security devices including outdoor lighting and a burglar alarm
- make sure to lock all doors and windows even when you are at home
- consider leaving a light on even when you go out at night and draw the curtains
- keep valuables out of sight and ladders and tools locked away
- review home insurance cover to ease the financial worry of replacing stolen items
- mark possessions with your postcode and house or flat number and take photographs of valuable possessions
- when planning a holiday, cancel milk, newspaper or other home deliveries
- get in touch with a local neighbourhood watch scheme (if you have one) which can offer further help and advice.