Support for older victims of crime 'needs improvement'
A report published today has concluded that there are national shortcomings in supporting victims of crime over 60.
In 2018/19, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) conducted a joint inspection of how the police and the CPS respond to crimes against older people.
Findings include a lack of consistency across the criminal justice system and that despite an aging population there was no national police focus on older victims, of whom many are vulnerable.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon said: "Ensuring that victims of crime receive a high standard of support remains an absolute priority for me and that's why I continue to allocate funding to a number of victim services including Victim Support and Wiltshire Police's Horizon Victim Support Team.
"This report highlights that more can be done nationally to support older victims of crime and tailoring safeguarding to their individual needs.
"A number of recommendations have now been made for the CPS, College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council and Chief Constables and I will be raising these with our Chief Constable directly to ensure our victims receive the best service possible."
The report did however highlight that the police are usually good in their initial dealings with older people and recognised the investment that has been made in training to help officers recognise vulnerability.
Concerns were raised over the accessibility of the criminal justice system to older victims and that investigations were often not of the standard they should be.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Cooper, Chief Officer Lead for Crime, Justice and Vulnerability at Wiltshire Police, said: "Part of my role at Wiltshire Police is to make sure all our investigations are up to the highest standard.
"As our population ages, it is important we adapt and effectively deal with crimes against older people and support victims appropriately. We will continue to work hard with our partners to make sure appropriate services are provided.
"And our response to crime, including vulnerability, will continue to be prioritised on the threat, harm and risk involved".
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) examined police forces in Greater Manchester, North Wales, Dorset, Humberside, Cambridgeshire and Gloucestershire for the report.