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The Elderly and Crime

Last update on: Mar 14 2020

Most discussions of the elderly and crime point out that the elderly are likely to be victims of crime than younger people are. But this article says that the new trend worldwide is for older people to commit crimes. The theory is that they haven’t saved enough for retirement and can’t keep regular jobs, so they are resorting to crime. In a number of cases, the crimes are unconventional and dramatic.

But when police arrested nine suspects, the most striking thing about the crew wasn’t physical dexterity or villainous brilliance. It was age. The youngest suspect in the case is 42, and most are much older, including two men in their mid-seventies. At a preliminary hearing on May 21, a 74-year-old suspect said he couldn’t understand a clerk’s questions because he was hard of hearing. A second suspect, 59, walked with a pronounced limp.

Young men still commit a disproportionate share of crimes in most countries. But crime rates among the elderly are rising in Britain and other European and Asian nations, adding a worrisome new dimension to the problem of aging populations.

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