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Crime and the elderly - precautions to take when you are out and about

It is a sad fact of life that there are many criminals who are all too happy to take advance of the fragility of the elderly. Crimes range from conning elderly people out of their money to serious assaults, burglary and theft.  Many elderly people are lucky enough to live in areas where crime is relatively low, but many live in crime hotspots are even more likely to be the victims of crime. The lives of many elderly people have been blighted by crime and they live in fear of being a victim.

However, there are many precautions that can be taken that reduce the likelihood of an elderly person being  a victim of crime when out and about. This article looks at some of these suggestions in detail.

Crime precautions that elderly people should take when they are out and about

1) If you are going on an outing, make sure you stay on busy, well-lit streets. Ideally, only go out when you have an able bodied companion with you. Avoid short cuts through unlit alleys, parks or wasteland.

2) If you carry a handbag, make sure that you carry your handbag close to your body - not dangling by straps which make the handbag easy to snatch. If you use a walking aid, make sure you handbag is stored in a zipped container attached to your aid.

3) If you carry a wallet, make sure you put your wallet in your pocket and make sure that it does not show.

4) Never leave your wallet or purse in a position where it can be seen or snatched by a criminal.

5) Elderly people have a habit of thinking that their cash is safest when it is with them. Unfortunately,  this is not necessarily true and if you have a large amount of cash, it is better to hide it at home rather than taking it with you.

6) Never taken any credit cards with you that you know you are not going to use. It is better to hide them at home (but you need to remember where they are of course!)

8) If at all possible, it is a good idea for an elderly person to invest in a mobile phone (there are phones that are designed specifically for the elderly - have big buttons and are easy to use). However if you have a mobile phone, keep it well hidden and be discrete about using it.

9) Personal alarms for the elderly can be bought which can be activated if you feel threatened when out and about.

Precautions that elderly people should take on a car journey

1) If you go out in a car, make sure that you keep the doors locked.

2) Never part you care where it is isolated or unlit.

3) Be particularly alert in car parks and garages - always park near the entrance if you can.

4) If you have your windows open, make sure that no valuables such as handbags, wallets or mobile phones are visible.

Precautions that elderly people should take on public transport

1) If possible, always sit in a carriage next to the guard or driver when travelling on a


2) If travelling on a bus, always sit near the driver if possible.

3) Never get into an empty carriage when travelling by train.

4) If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. Trust your instincts. They are usually right.


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