Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Seniors feel safer, crime victim survey finds.

I must say that as a male senior living in the boondocks I dont fear a sexual assault except perhaps from a frustrated stray dog. The findings may be a bit surprising given the press tendency to sensationalise violent crime and report it ad nauseam.

Seniors are safer, crime victim survey finds
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | 2:10 PM ET
CBC News
Perceived by some as a more vulnerable group in society, seniors are actually three times less likely than those under 65 to be victims of crime, Statistics Canada says.

A survey released Tuesday found 10 per cent of people aged 65 or over had been victims of crime, compared with 31 per cent for those under 65. The data were compiled from victim reports in 2004 and police data from 2005.

For crimes such as assault, sexual assault or robbery, the seniors were four times less likely to report being victims than those aged 55 to 64, and nearly 20 times less likely than those aged 15 to 24.

Seniors were more likely to be victimized by a family member (nearly five in 10 victims) than non-seniors (four in 10), with the police-reported data showing most perpetrators were adult children of the victims (35 per cent) or current or previous spouses (31 per cent).

Perceptions that seniors tend to be more frail were undercut by the finding that over two-thirds (68 per cent) of violent crimes produced no physical injury, a figure comparable to the general population.

Theft of personal property among seniors was less than half the rate found among those 55 to 64, and nearly eight times lower than for those 15 to 24.

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For crimes such as break and enter, property theft, vehicle theft or vandalism, seniors were nearly three times less likely to experience them than the general population.

Seniors also reported a growing sense of satisfaction with their personal safety from crime, said the report, with 92 per cent feeling satisfied, compared with 89 per cent in 1999. Although the younger population was found to be relatively less safe than seniors, 94 per cent of that group reported satisfaction with their safety.

The study noted victimization surveys rely on the ability of respondents to report accurately, and that the incomplete responses of the most vulnerable seniors, who might be more isolated or cognitively impaired, could cause an underestimate of crimes suffered. On the other hand, victimization surveys generally produce higher rates of reported crime than police data

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