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Campaign targeting crimes on the elderly

By Margaret Canning

A new campaign to fight crime against the elderly has been launched.

Age Concern and Crimestoppers hope to raise awarness among the elderly of the freephone, anonymous Crimestoppers freephone number 0800 555111 for reporting crime.

Trevor Annon, chairman of Crimestoppers in Northern Ireland, said that while offences against the elderly had remained constant during 2006 to 2007, the fear of crime among the elderly seemed to have grown.

Mr Annon said: "Increased media attention in recent times has highlighted attacks against older people, which can be seen to have increased the fear of crime, especially amongst those feeling most vulnerable in our communities.

"In addition as Northern Ireland moves steadily away from the civil unrest of the past and towards a more 'normal' society, it may be the case that incidents which previously might have been viewed as trivial, are being reported on a more consistent basis."

He said the media had a "fine line" to negotiate between reporting crime and increasing the fear of crime.

"Such a real fear of crime can leave people feeling isolated within their own homes.

"As a response Crimestoppers and Age Concern are working together to reduce such feelings of fear and create a safer Northern Ireland."

He said the organisation would distribute leaflets advertising the anonymous Crimestoppers number to Age Concern groups.

Tom Cairns from Age Concern in Northern Ireland said Crimestoppers provided " an extremely valuable service".

"All older people should be able to live safely and securely in their homes and communities without fear of crime and harassment."

Crimestoppers is an independent charity operating in around 20 countries.

Belfast Telegraph


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