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The Elderly Stakeholder Group

Elderly and Police

on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of The Elderly Stakeholder Group

Fraud prevention

Rights - regarding abuse

Social networking
How to Provide Effective Service to Our Aging Population
Topics of conversation
How have relationships with the police and the justice system evolved over time?
How have police organizations responded?
Has the evolving role of public police impacted relationships with this group? Why? If so, how? 
Additional Topics:
Fraud against the Elderly
Old Age Driving
Impact on Various Social Services and the Public
Police Response to Elder Abuse
What additional recommendations might be made to further improve on those relationships?

How have relationships with the police and the justice system evolved over time?
How have police organizations responded?
Has the evolving role of public police impacted relationships with this group? Why? If so, how?
Additional Discussion Topics:
What additional recommendations might be made to further improve on those relationships
Group 1
Paul Penner, Dennis Edwards, Nikolce Iliev , Leon Stewart,
Christopher Jachyra, Coral Walker & Camieka Woodhouse

Fraud against the Elderly:
-Between 1996 and 2004, 84% of total dollar loss through telemarketing and prize lottery occurrences was accounted for by victims over 60 years of age.
- In 2009 seniors suffered an average dollar loss per incident 1.4 times higher than the age group 20-59 group ($4,475.35 vs $3,162.82)
- In 2012, the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre received 41,496 complaints of mass marketing fraud, 14,491 individuals were confirmed victims, the majority of which were initiated by telephone. The advent of new technologies has created new means through which fraudulent acts can be committed, namely through e-mail, the Internet or text messaging resulting into a whopping $78,132,679.08 total reported dollar loss across Canada.

-In comparison the U.S. National Fraud Information Center report found that those aged 60 years and over represented 34% of all victims of telemarketing fraud. Fraud is quickly becoming the crime of the 21st century.
Old Age Driving:
Being able to live independently is important to all adults, but it is an issue of particular concern to seniors. Research has shown that the single greatest fear of most older people is that of becoming dependent.

A comfortable, convenient means of transportation, driving allows seniors to visit family and friends, attend appointments, and participate in recreational and volunteer activities.
Impact on Various Social Services and the Public:
• Economy

• Families

• Service providers

Police Response to Elder Abuse:
Elderly Person:
means a person over the age of 65

means harm done to anyone by a person in a position of trust or authority

means physical abuse (includes sexual abuse), psychological abuse, financial abuse or neglect, or any combination

means a person incapable of managing their day to day affairs, thus making them vulnerable to abuse

Vulnerable Person:
means any adult who by nature of a physical, emotional or psychological condition is dependent on other persons for care and assistance in day to day living
The Elderly Stakeholder Group
No outreach programs or help from the police or any agencies

Seniors left alone to deal with issues

Vulnerable to criminal activities

No family members support

No outreach or support programs
Outreach Programs
Community Events with police presence to talk to the elderly to close the gap between the police and elderly
Crime Prevention Programs: (Home Security, Vehicle Safety Tips, Identity Theft, Online and Phone Scam, Bank Card Theft, Power of Attorney)
Elderly Abuse Recognition
Ontario's senior population is growing at a rapid rate.  As the "baby boomers" (born between 1946-1965) age, the seniors population is expected to reach 6.7 million in 2021 and 9.2 million in 2041 (nearly one in four Canadians).  In fact, the growth of the seniors population will account for close to half of the growth of the overall Canadian population in the next four decades.  As a result of these staggering statistics police services create teams of officers to deal with issues that will arise surrounding this growth.
Educating Officers and Developing Protocols/Procedures
Raising awareness of the challenges that seniors face
Both Physiological and Psychological
Protocols and programs to assist officers with elderly crisis
(ie. missing)
Procedures to direct officers with elderly crimes
(ie. fraud & abuse)

Educating Seniors
Developing Programs
Project Lifesaver

SPECTRA - Community Support Services

EAPN - Peel Elder Abuse Prevention Network

Safely Home - Alzheimer Wandering Registry
Dealing with physical changes associated with aging
Common mental health disorders experienced by seniors
(ie. dementia, depression, delirium)
Mental Health Disorders
Dealing with bereavement
Dealing with loneliness
Dealing with retirement
Issues effecting the elderly:

1. Physical abuse
2. Neglect
3. Financially
4. Psychological
Common crimes effecting the elderly:

1. Break and enters
2. Robberies
3. Frauds
4. Assaults
How the police role has changed in relation to the elderly:

“Role of police is shaped by a variety of social, legal, political, and administrative factors”
Legislative bodies:

• In 2000 changes were made to the criminal records act to enhance screening of employees and volunteers in positions of trust with the vulnerable individuals.
• 2010 allows services to query flagged pardoned sexual offender records.
• Family violence Statues – aimed at protecting persons safety or physical protection
• Criminal Law – Assault Criminal Negligence, Murder, Aiding suicide
• Not applicable to Ontario however there are adult protection laws mandatory reporting in some provinces.
• Adult guardianship laws – Power of attorney – used when mental incapability exist allows for health, social, legal and financial decisions
Other Police Departments:

• Introduction of specialized units

• Utilization of social media and police service websites
The media:

• The media effectively creates public awareness on issues affecting the elderly
Private Citizens:

• Help define the police role

• Advocacy center for the elderly

• Refusal of prosecution

• Difficulty of conviction
Elder abuse may happen to any older person regardless of gender, culture, and race, and financial status, mental or physical condition.

Abuse may occur more frequently to those older persons who are socially isolated.
Statistics on Elder Abuse
While statistics on elder abuse are difficult to acquire because it is believe that most cases are not reported, here are some known facts:

Some of the most commonly documented forms of abuse against seniors include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse and neglect.
Among all family-related assaults, violence against older adult most often involved an adult child (38%) followed by a spouse (26%) (Statistics Canada, 2004)
While older females are more likely to be abused than older males, men are more likely than women to be victimized by an adult child (45% compared to 35%) and women are more likely than men to experience violence at the hands of a spouse (30% compared to 19%). (Statistics Canada, 2004)
Wife battering carries on into old age. Spousal homicide accounts for nearly one-third (30%) of murders of women over 65 years of age. (Statistics Canada, 1999)

Most GTA police services already have some sort of elder abuse unit to combat this significant concern.
The abuse of elderly persons is a growing concern to the public in general due to an increasing senior’s population
Vulnerable persons are also a target for abuse due to an increasing trend encouraging independent community living.
The elderly and the vulnerable are hesitant to report their victimization for a variety of reasons.
Police Service is working to encourage the reporting of abuse and to ensure that all complaints of abuse are fully investigated in a timely manner.
The goals of a police service (TPS website) regarding the abuse of elderly or vulnerable persons are:

to reduce the incidence of the abuse of the elderly or vulnerable persons in the community
to investigate all occurrences thoroughly and to bring offenders to justice wherever possible
to ensure the safety of victims through prompt action including referrals to other community partners
The goal of the response of any police service is to help identify the signs before they happen. Some of the positives things that are already in place include:

information on programs and services for seniors, delivers educational presentations and is there to support seniors in our community.  

Increase community partners to look out for vulnerable seniors

Education families for things to look out for

Increase signage
Goals that should be implemented in every police service:
Reduce the incidence of abuse to elders and vulnerable persons

Thoroughly investigate all elder abuse allegations fully

Refer any victims and or potential victims to various community agencies

The number of seniors living in Toronto will increase dramatically within the next decade and it is important that we prepare for this demographic shift

City of Toronto suggest implementing initiatives to make older adults feel safer and secure by improving safety of it’s facilities and public spaces
City Initiatives/Transportation
Implement Wayfinding Strategy to assist navigating, including age friendly signage and mapping to assist in finding parks, gardens and trails

Increase the oversized street sign program

Improve safety of streets and sidewalks by providing visible and accessible pedestrian crossings, update signals- countdown timing, installing audible crossing signals

Keeping in mind that the majority of the elderly fall into the category of Victims of Crime

What can the police do to better ensure their safety and improve on their relationship?

Most police Services in the GTA already have procedures in place when dealing with the elderly

Police Services
Implement Seniors Safety Officers in the community-responsible for addressing issues seniors are facing in the community such as physical abuse, frauds/scams relating to bank accounts, ATM, identity theft, telephone scams, provides information on programs and services for seniors, educational presentations and support

Campaign to increase community awareness on issues and risks with elderly abuse and financial abuse

Increase community programs that encourage communities and neighbours to watch out for seniors

Increase educating officers on recognition of elderly abuse -physical, emotional sexual, financial, fraud, and other issues related to the elderly (i.e. mental health, dementia)

Investigate all occurrences thoroughly and bring offenders to justice wherever possible

Ensure safety of victims by prompt action and possible referrals to other community partners

Elderly individuals may become a strain on the healthcare system as a result of injuries or aliments

• Stats Can reported 44% of provincial government spending is allocated to health care needs of seniors in 2003

• 90% expenditures in long-care institutions in 2005

• Fall related injuries among those 65 & older cost the economy $2.8 billion per year

• Provide supportive environments to prevent injuries

• Have finances to support a healthy diet for elderly family members

• Engage in social activities that encourages physical activity to keep the body and mind functioning

Dementia is labeled one of the greatest public health challenges

10-15% of seniors suffer from depressive symptoms or clinical depression

Alzheimer’s disease affect 8% of those over 65 & 25% of those over the age of 80
7.2% of seniors were members of a visible minority often brought to Canada to take care of grandchildren

They may not speak English or French and as such are at risk of experiencing social exclusion based on racism and ageism with very different social needs of those who age having grown up in Canada

Due to isolation they may experience depression

At risk of certain chronic diseases and mental health issues related to displacement

Why is there an increased risk for seniors?
Many have substantial savings and assets, excellent credit ratings, targeted by criminals
It is assumed that seniors are most trusting and polite to strangers. Criminals exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say “no” or just hang up the telephone.
Elderly persons are home alone more often, sometimes with minimum contact to family members.
The elderly are less likely to report fraud because of embarrassment or unaware they have been come victimized.
Elderly individuals may not be creditable witnesses. Criminals know the effects of aging on memory and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to police.

Prevention for elderly fraud

Minimize sending money through a wire services
Maintain possession of your credit cards at all times
Never turn over suns of cash to anyone, especially to strangers, no matter how promising the deal looks.
Do not give out financial or personal information over the internet or over the phone.
Do not hesitate to check the credentials of a sale person or public official.
Do not send money to a charity that is unknown.Do not buy a lottery ticket from a telephone solicitation
If it sounds to go to be true, it usually is
Do not send money to claim a prize

Motor vehicle accidents causing death, by age group
Percentage of Men and Women with a Drivers Licence
Most Common Form of Transportation of those age 65 and older
Origin of the police role and Sir Robert Peel nine principles:

1. Prevent crime and disorder
2. Power of police dependant on public approval
3. Securing and maintaining the respect and approval of public
4. Necessity for physical force when public cooperation diminishes
5. Demonstrate impartial service to the public as a means to seek and preserve public favor
6. Use physical force only when persuasion, advice and warnings is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation.
7. Main a relationship that gives reality to the idea that the police are the public and the public are the police
8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Essentially the police role is described as the maintenance of order.
Full transcript