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Force raises awareness of elder abuse

15 Jun 2020

While getting older often brings challenges such as health issues or financial concerns in later years, elder abuse is a problem that exists the world over, and yet, is one of the least reported crimes.

Today (Monday), we are supporting World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to raise awareness of abuse towards this sector of the community and to encourage anyone with concerns to make a report if they think an older family member, friend or neighbour is living with domestic abuse, or is being targeted by fraudsters or other criminals.

Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Dadd, head of the force’s Emerald team which investigates domestic abuse and sexual offences, said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms and affects people of any age, and older people can be extremely vulnerable to particular types of domestic abuse, including abuse by a care, or financial abuse.

“The recent limitations on movement to combat Covid-19 will have left many older people isolated and fearful, and unable to speak out about their situation.

“We know that many older people find it hard to open up about what is happening to them, or where to find help if they are not confident, or are prevented from using tools such as online search, so it’s important that they are given a platform and a chance to find support.

“Everyone, no matter their age, has the right to live free from abuse, and if you have concerns, please do raise them. We are here to help.

“We have an experienced team which deals with domestic abuse across all age groups, and access to a network of partner agencies that can provide support.”

Detective Superintendent Zara Brown, Head of the Public Protection Unit, said: “Unfortunately, as we are expecting a rapidly aging population, elder abuse is predicted to increase and I want to take this opportunity to reiterate how important it is to me and the Public Protection Unit, that we all do our bit to help prevent this happening.

“This type of abuse often happens more than we expect so I’d encourage you to stay connected with your elderly friends or family members and look for signs, such as noticing a person being withdrawn, having unexplained injuries, not eating properly and not engaging with other people.

“Our Public Protection Unit works closely with partners agencies in order to ensure that elderly people in Bedfordshire are protected and safeguarded. I recognise there is still work to do and we are committed to working with key individuals to ensure that together, we make clear strides to giving our elderly community the best possible service.”

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or if you have concerns about a person’s behaviour towards you, or you fear for someone’s safety, please do get in touch.  

Call us in confidence on 101, and remember, always call 999 in an emergency.  

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Visit our information pages for advice, and information about partner agencies who can also find the right help for you.

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