Are the elderly becoming targets of crime?



The elderly people in our communities are often easy targets for criminals.

In light of attacks last year, we asked why this is the case and how the community can help those around them?

Greg Pearce, owner of CSS Protection explained that, in general, the elderly are not adequately protected. This is often due to the homes they have been living in for many years, still having low walls and no security systems such as alarms or electric fences.

“It’s mostly the easily accessible properties that are targeted, it doesn’t matter who lives in the homes. However, most of the time, the elderly are not as protected as they should be.”

READ: Elderly men beaten and robbed

A member of the Randpark Ridge community, Jacques Botha commented, “Their reaction time is also slower – slamming a security gate closed is one example. It’s also difficult for them to fight back.”

Linden Police Station spokesperson, Captain Walter Spencer agreed that the elderly are definitely the most vulnerable. He added that they don’t always screen people before giving them jobs inside their homes. “We arrested a suspect last year who had committed over 11 robberies. Out of those, nine were robberies against elderly people over the age of 62,” said Spencer.

READ: Elderly robbed and pistol-whipped during power outage

According to him, retirement homes in the Linden precinct are very well protected, therefore, crimes generally occur at private households.

Hennie Oosthuizen, Randburg CPF vice chairperson added, “From time to time, when we do have robberies at households, it is often the elderly who are [the victims].”

He explained that the CPF encourages the community to keep an eye out for the elderly, not only to prevent crime but also for their general wellbeing, as they are often widowed and lonely.

READ: Elderly man tied up for 2 hours

Kate Lorimer, DA Shadow MEC for Safety and Security also said that the elderly are vulnerable but added that she hadn’t seen a spike in crimes against them of late. “But it is always advisable for the elderly to travel together and never walk alone. ‘The more, the merrier’ is something I like to remind people.”

In general, she asked that the community looks out for those around them, especially the more vulnerable people.

People should always travel together and never walk alone in the streets says DA Shadow MEC for Safety and Security. Photo: Pixabay.

People should always travel together and never walk alone in the streets says DA Shadow MEC for Safety and Security. Photo: Pixabay.


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