The poor relation: The police and Crown Prosecution Service's response to crimes against older people
In 2018/19, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) conducted a joint inspection of how the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) respond to crimes against older people.
The UK has an ageing population. Although older people are not by definition vulnerable, studies show that older people, as a group, are more likely to be affected by the physical and mental challenges of attending court to give evidence. Older people are also more likely to fear being the victims of crime than people in other age groups.
As a result, in 2017, the then Home Secretary commissioned an inspection to establish the nature and extent of problems affecting older people within the criminal justice system, and how well these are understood by the police and CPS. This commission was to specifically focus on crimes of abuse and exploitation (including financial).
The report below sets out our findings, making a series of recommendations aimed at improving police and CPS practice, and so the service provided to victims.
As part of the inspection process, HMICFRS and HMCPSI commissioned BritainThinks to interview older victims of crime about their experiences. These interviews informed the findings of the report and helped build a better picture of the challenges presented by crimes against older people. The findings from these interviews are used throughout the report, and are also presented in a separate research report below.