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Crime against senior citizens demands imaginative solutions

8 January, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Senior Citizens, Foyle MLA Mary Nelis has called for imaginative solutions to the problems of crime against the elderly.

Ms Nelis said:

"Crime against our senior citizens and the fear of crime are serious problems that require imaginative solutions.

"A new beginning to policing and the creation of a police service that is not politically motivated is obviously a first step. But we need to go much further in creating solutions that challenge the behaviour of people carrying out crime against senior citizens as well as initiatives that deepen relationships across generations and initiatives that support our senior citizens.

"This means that government policy must pro-actively involve senior citizens within the education system from the earliest ages and that must be given a role in the rehabilitation of offenders who have targeted them. We also need to the expansion of initiatives such as Good Morning Colin in Belfast and Good Morning Galliagh in Derry where volunteers, predominantly young people support the well being of our senior citizens.

"We need to see greater resources out into personal security measures, and initiatives such as security camera‚s linked to the TV as already operates in North Belfast, for senior citizens delivered through the Health Boards, particularly where the PSNI have no credibility. However, the solution is not to build fortresses around our senior citizens. The solution must be based on tackling criminal activity, strengthening community initiatives and preventative measures." ENDS

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