The UK has an aging population. By 2030, one in four people in our communities will be over 60 years of age. Older adults are prey to unscrupulous criminals who use deception and artifice to trick and steal money from their senior victims.
The average victims of these offences are the most vulnerable people in society, typically female, aged 79 years and living alone. They suffer significant trauma to their lives following victimisation, which can often lead to social isolation, fear and loss of confidence.
The Senior Citizen Liaison Team specifically targets the disproportionate number of offences in Bristol, and to reduce the impact of such offending on the senior population. All the services offered by the SCLT are complementary to normal policing services, and are often carried out in the officer’s own time.
The ethos of the SCLT is simple: if you have contact with the Senior Citizen Liaison Team, you are far less likely to become a victim of crime. Over the last year, crime-beating presentations have been made to thousands of seniors at various community gatherings. They additionally spread the message of their work through the Senior Siren Newsletter which is published quarterly and read by 10,000 people. The award-nominated publication is entirely funded by corporate sponsors and is totally cost-neutral to the public purse.
Far more than just another law-enforcement team, the SCLT has taken the opportunity to assist with other aspects of social improvement by joining other statutory and voluntary agencies to make referrals which have significantly improved people’s lives. This has included working with SSAFA Forces-Help to assist military veterans with domestic issues, and working with the Royal British Legion to establish a Remembrance Parade to boost community cohesion.
Many people have benefited from the work of the SCLT at a time of their lives where they feel isolated and marginalised. The SCLT is indeed unique, there is no other team to be found in the police service in the UK which provides such a service.
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