The policy is the last to be published on six “equality strands” and brings victimisation due to ageism in line with crimes driven by racism, homophobia, religious hate, disability hate and domestic violence.
To be honest, before severe sentences are considered, I’d like to see the CPS take more action about taking seriously crimes reported by elderly people so that -any- sentence is considered.
I can personally run through many examples of protective conferences and planning meetings I’ve been party to that have whimpered to unsatisfactory endings because witnesses/victims were deemed to be unreliable witnesses in a court setting or not able to testify in a court – situations where I honestly think video-links would have been extremely helpful.
The policies currently have no teeth and as a victim’s daughter told me just earlier this week ‘why should it be that it’s my mother that has to move away from her home because of my brother’s actions?’.
No answer – but the CPS won’t take any action because of the unreliability of evidence, an injunction requires a similar level of proof and we need to ensure safety as best we can and unfortunately that means a move of someone who would in any other circumstance, be able to stay in her own home.
These are the things that constantly frustrate working in adult protection. The mechanisms just don’t exist to put into place and sturdy protective actions if the witnesses are never deemed to be reliable due to cognitive impairments. While allowances can be made for young witnesses, they rarely are for older ones.
This article explains
The policy also describes how older people who are acting as witnesses can be subject to “special measures” such as being able to give evidence by video link. Older victims will also be offered specialist advocacy services.
Seems well overdue but I’ll try not to be ungracious about it and merely add the sooner the better..
Action on Elder Abuse responded to this by adding
“There is a growing body of evidence indicating the extent and complexity of elder abuse, and the argument is becoming increasingly compelling for there to be equal parity with child protection and domestic violence strategies.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself..