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NCJ Number: 50557 Find in a Library
Title: OLDER AMERICANS AND CRIME - THE SCOPE OF ELDERLY VICTIMIZATION
Journal: AGING  Issue:281-282  Dated:(MARCH/APRIL 1978)  Pages:10-16
Author(s): A A MALINCHAK; D WRIGHT
Corporate Author: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Admin on Aging
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CRIMINAL VICTIMIZATION OF THE ELDERLY IS DISCUSSED, WITH ATTENTION TO THE OVERSIGHTS OF SUCH CRIME SURVEYS AS THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION'S UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS AND THE ADVANTAGES OF LEAA'S SURVEY METHOD.
Abstract: CONFUSION AND DOUBT ABOUT THE EXTENT OF THE NATIONAL PROBLEM OF CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY STEM LARGELY FROM THREE FACTORS: (1) ELDERLY VICTIMS OFTEN DO NOT REPORTS CRIMES, (2) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ARE NOT AWARE OF THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF ELDERLY CRIME VICTIMS, AND (3) THE SUBJECT OF ELDERLY CRIME VICTIMIZATION HAS BEEN APPROACHED IN A BANDWAGON FASHION, RATHER THAN IN AN ORDERLY, INTERDISCIPLINARY MANNER. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE LEAA'S VICTIMIZATION SURVEYS, EXISTING DATA COLLECTION EFFORTS DISREGARD THE AGE OF VICTIMS; THE UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS AND LOCAL SURVEY AND REPORTING INITIATIVES CONCENTRATE ON ENVIRONMENTAL, DEMOGRAPHIC, AND OFFENDER RELATED FACTORS WHILE IGNORING THE VICTIM AND ESPECIALLY THE ELDERLY VICTIM. THE LEAA SURVEYS HAVE TWO MAIN ELEMENTS: A CONTINUOUS NATIONAL SURVEY, AND PERIODIC SURVEYS OF SELECTED CENTRAL CITY AREAS. THESE SURVEYS HAVE REVEALED THAT ONLY ONE-THIRD OF CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY ARE REPORTED TO POLICE. WHILE THE SURVEYS HAVE FOUND THAT OLDER PERSONS ARE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIME AT A RATE OF 8 PER 1,000 POPULATION, COMPARED TO A RATE OF 32 PER 1,000 FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION, OTHER DATA SHOW THAT THE ELDERLY HAVE THE HIGHEST VICTIMIZATION RATE FOR SUCH CRIMES AS LARCENY INVOLVING BODILY CONTACT. ACCORDING TO THE LEAA SURVEY FIGURES FOR 1973 AND 1974, THE (46 PERCENT) INCREASE IN CRIMES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS OVER 65 WAS SECOND ONLY TO THE INCREASE AGAINST 16 TO 19 YEAR OLD MALES. HOWEVER, A MAJOR DRAWBACK OF THE LEAA SURVEYS IS THEIR FAILURE TO INCLUDE CERTAIN CRIMES TO WHICH THE ELDERLY ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE BY VIRTUE OF THEIR AGE, HEALTH, AND ECONOMIC STATUS, INCLUDING FRAUD, CONFIDENCE GAMES, MEDICAL QUACKERY, AND HARASSMENT BY YOUTH. DATA FROM A U.S. SENATE SURVEY OF MAJOR URBAN AREAS HAS ALSO SHOWN THAT THE POOR, INNER-CITY ELDERLY SUFFER MORE CRIME THAN THEIR NONINNER-CITY COUNTERPARTS; ELDERLY VULNERABILITY IS INCREASED BY ECONOMIC, PHYSICAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND SOCIAL FACTORS; AND OLDER PERSONS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE MULTIPLE VICTIMS OF THE SAME CRIMES. ANOTHER SURVEY OF 80,000 PEOPLE CONDUCTED IN 1972 AND 1973 INDICATED THAT FOR MOST, FEAR OF CRIME RANKED SECOND IN THEIR LIVES, FOLLOWING CONCERN ABOUT ADEQUATE FOOD AND SHELTER. TABULAR DATA ARE PROVIDED. REFERENCES ARE FOOTNOTED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Older Adults (65+); Surveys; Urban area studies; Victimization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50557

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