Sometimes when you listen to the news, you might be forgiven for thinking that our crime statistics are getting worse and worse.
Questions we ask ourselves
Are there more break-ins?
More people being murdered?
Are children at greater risk now of being abducted than they were fifty years ago?
It certainly seems to be the case.
However, much of it is down to the constant availability of news. Plus the fact the media loves reporting on negative news. Yes, they will have a ‘good news’ segment at the end of it but most stories are serious and hard-hitting.
We seem to have a preoccupation with the news now too. From the endless feeds on our phones to the availability of Sky News around the clock, we can tune in at any time now. Thus, they are always looking for their next big story to keep our engagement. It’s often the case that the more negative, the better, to grab people’s attentions.
This leads to us believing that crime statistics are much higher than they actually are.
Don’t live in fear
Living in fear of a crime can be almost as bad. It is important to remember that, for the general older person, becoming a victim of a crime is actually highly unlikely.
For example, in Northern Ireland last year, of the 260,000 people there over 65, 0.08% were hurt in an attack. That 0.08% represents 200 people. Of course, 200 people is still 200 too many. However, what the Age Sector Platform wants to emphasise is the risk of an older person becoming a victim of a crime is actually extremely low.
That doesn’t mean that we can be complacent though. But rather we should be realistic in our preparation against crime and in our evaluation of the risk. We should not let fear prevent our enjoyment of life. The Age Sector Platform is calling on the media to be more responsible in their reporting of crimes and ensure that reporting is balanced. They are asking the police to communicate more with groups of older people. People could perhaps give talks and presentations to make them feel more secure in their own homes.
They have also called on the police to improve conviction rates and send a clear message to criminals that they will be caught and punished. This should reassure the public that they are in safe hands.
Everyone’s home is their castle. It is where they feel safe and protected.
With more balanced reporting by the media and more patrolling by the Gardaí, we hope that the statistic of 0.08% will be reduced much further in the oncoming year.
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