Cumbria police raising awareness surrounding elderly abuse in the county
Cumbria Constabulary have launched a campaign to highlight elderly abuse and the impact it can have.
The campaign looks at crimes targeting older adults, encourage reporting of offences and signposts people to relevant free local support services.
The police have said that while crimes against the elderly are not systemic in Cumbria, in the last year the Constabulary have investigated crimes targeting the elderly including assault, neglect, high-value financial abuse and rape.
Many older adults have reported being reluctant to speak up about their abuse for fear of repercussion or not wanting to cause any issues as well as some also lacking capacity to raise an alarm due to ill health.
Acting Detective Inspector Matt Belshaw, Public Protection Unit Lead for Vulnerable Adults, said: "The abuse of elderly people can have devastating impacts on them, their families, and the wider community. Everyone has the right to live their life freely and without fear.
"The abuse and neglect of elderly people occurs more frequently than is reported. Preventing and reporting cases of elderly abuse should be the responsibility of us all. Please, speak up if you have concerns. Your information could stop someone who is taking advantage of a vulnerable older person.
"Please look out for elderly relatives and members of your community. If something doesn’t appear or feel right, please do not hesitate to contact us."
Abuse can include physical, sexual, domestic, or psychological abuse; fraud or theft, coercive control, neglect or acts of omission, discrimination, modern slavery, and cuckooing.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: "Raising awareness on how to spot the signs of elder abuse is critical, as this form of abuse is often not visible, goes unseen, or even ignored and not reported.
"It’s vital that we look out for vulnerable people in our communities, and I urge people to be kind and compassionate neighbours, look out for one another and where possible, visit any older residents from time to time, to check everything is ok.
"We all have a role to play in helping to prevent elder abuse. I urge anyone that may know or suspect someone is being mistreated, to inform the police."