Look out for the elderly to stop cowardly crime rising

Witney Gazette: Look out for the elderly to stop cowardly crime rising Look out for the elderly to stop cowardly crime rising

CROOKS who prey on the vulnerable in their own homes are on track to steal more this year than ever before.

Trading Standards are right to highlight the shocking increase in these cowardly crimes – and people need to be on the lookout.

The figures speak for themselves: 152 of the 167 victims in the past year were over 61, with an average of £2,101 stolen per victim.

Criminals see isolated, elderly people as easy targets, and the police and Trading Standards must do everything they can to protect them.

But we could all do more to make sure our older friends and relatives aren’t ignored and abandoned – especially at this time of year.

As Trading Standards officer Martin Woodley says, the “callous, calculated and cunning” thieves will often befriend those they seek to prey on, taking advantage of their loneliness.

And the shame of falling victim to such scams can lead to them being under-reported by people too embarrassed to admit they were caught out.

What they don’t realise is that on the wrong day it can happen to anyone – and the only ones to blame are the heartless conmen.

If the amount of money stolen each year keeps rising it could be time for Thames Valley Police to look again at how it deals with such crimes.

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