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Feel Safe, Feel Secure

Sometimes when you listen to the news, you might be forgiven for thinking that our crime statistics are getting worse and worse. Are there more break-ins?  Are more people being murdered?  Are children at greater risk now of being abducted than they were fifty years ago?  Are there more robberies?  It certainly seems to be the case but much of it is down to the ready availability of news and the fact that the media loves reported on negative news. Yes, the 6 o’clock news will have a ‘good news’ feature at the end of it but most of its content is serious and hard hitting.
We seem to have a preoccupation with listening and watching news now – from the availability of Sky News around the clock to being able to tune into the news at different times on so many different channels to the number of online news websites that are now available. They are constantly looking for news to report on and it seems that the more negative, the better.  This leads to us believing that crime statistics are much higher than they actually are.
Living in fear of a crime can be almost as bad and 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 but what the Age Sector Platform wants to emphasise is that the risk of an older person become a victim of a crime is actually very very low. That doesn’t mean that we can be complacent but we should be realistic in our preparation against crime and also be realistic in our evaluation of the risk and not let fear prevent 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, perhaps by giving 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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