Poverty to blame for pensioner crime in Cumbria?
Last updated at 13:14, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Pensioners across Cumbria have been arrested for offences including terrorism, witness intimidation and arson.
One Labour councillor in Carlisle has suggested that some elderly people in the county are being driven to crime by rising prices and increasing poverty.
Figures released by Cumbria Constabulary under the Freedom of Information act show that 191 people over the age of 65 have been arrested in the past 18 months.
During that period, 23 of those involved were arrested on suspicion of theft.
In 2011, 18 women were arrested compared with 115 men, police have arrested 10 elderly women compared to 48 male pensioners.
The most common offence was assault, for which 22 pensioners were arrested in 2011 and 15 have been arrested so far this year.
The statistics also revealed that last year there were 30 over-65s arrested in connection with sexual offences. That figured has plummeted to just six so far in 2012.
Other figures at a glance include: one person arrested in 2011 under the Anti-Terrorism Act; one person arrested this year for abduction; two arrests in 2011 and one in 2012 for making threats to kill; one arrest this year for witness intimidation; and one arrest, also this year, for arson.
A spokeswoman from Cumbria Constabulary said: “Crime has no age limit and causes the same distress to victims whether committed by an older person or not. Offences are thoroughly investigated and, where a suspect has been identified, arrests will be made where appropriate.
“We are dedicated to ensuring Cumbria remains one of the safest places in the country so we deal with all offenders who break the law here, regardless of their age.”
Willie Whalen, who is both an official with the building workers’ union Ucatt and a Labour city and county councillor for Castle ward, said research was needed to establish whether there is a link between pensioner crime and their economic situation.
He got involved in helping to set up a foodbank for the city after seeing worrying numbers of elderly people struggling to feed themselves due to rising living costs.
“I’m very concerned about it,” he said.
“Some are getting horrific shocks at the cost of living, particularly utility bills. Their savings are being wiped out and some are having to use money that they had put away to pay for funerals. Many are in a desperate state but they have pride and don’t want to ask for help.
“Some find themselves doing things that go against their principles and things that they would never have dreamed of doing.”
First published at 11:24, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Well Well Mr Councillor, all this about poverty, yes times are tougher than for a while, but true poverty?.
I have been hoping to read the annual rises given to councillors percentage/plus?? oh and expenses, go on be brave and tell us, in the scheme of open government...
I had a trip to Florida it was fantastic, that was 13 years ago, since, well Gretna gateway, longtown +a day at Whitehaven and the back garden. I apologise if I have missed the the press release of expenses etc I don't buy papers, not for six years or more.
Carlisle pensioner no convictions but often the victim of burglars and have seen them get older. Perhaps when repeat offenders seem to laugh in the face of the law and their victims a harder prison regime might do the trick...
wecouldnt afford pensions,but rather than spend money on cars and fancy holidays we choose to buy property when interest rates reached nearly 20%,now we are told we have to sell if we ever go into care,what a mug i,ve been,as for a rise in pension its nowt compared to what blair and brown gave to young woman to have babbies,then give tax credits to people earning 60000 a year.thats whats obscene.
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