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Surveys carried out globally as well as those conducted in Australia indicate uniformity in terms of their findings concerning the elderly aged 65 years and above citing that they are less likely to suffer from risk associated with criminal activities as compared to younger individuals. However, as highlighted by James (1992), this is not the actual reality on the ground as the criminal victimization among individuals aged 65 and above exactly presents an exceptional phenomenon.

According to James (1992), probable criminals are often well informed on the vulnerability of these elderly people especially those with easily identifiable aging status.

As such, they are often at risk of varied criminal activities including fraud (often by white-collar imposters, con-men and criminals posing as telecom staff or social security staff) and tricking by confident cheats. Knowledge deficit or fear regarding the appropriate procedures followed during their criminal victimization is argued to easily and frequently cause impatience with the justice system as the process is often assumed and argued to involve a greater inconvenience and total discomfort to the elderly.

In some cases, such victims may also be reluctant to utilize the existing community resources associated with protection or advice, where James (1992) further argues that the reluctance may extend to reporting acts of abuses (including physical, economic and psychological abuses) as inflicted by other individuals. Faced with all these challenges, there has been limited to non-existent emotional and fiscal support from the neglecting and indifferent public. It therefore follows that since the elderly experience a lower life quality due to their vulnerability, measures focusing on alleviating their fears and vulnerability are necessary including increasing community awareness and providing support services such as home-care


James, M.P. (1992). The elderly as victims of crime abuse and neglect Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice no 37. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.