21 May 2015
Nick Alston CBE, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, last night spoke of the need to tackle the hidden harms of elder abuse during a speech at a New Scotland Yard Dinner.
Addressing some of the most influential figures from business and policing in the UK, Mr Alston commended the new anonymous reporting line for elder abuse in Essex and highlighted the need to be more innovative when it comes to tackling crimes against the elderly and other vulnerable people.
His speech comes three months into the trial of the 0800 032 7644 phone line, which will run for a year in the county.
It seeks to encourage more people to speak up about elder abuse – whether it’s occurring in a care home, hospital or the victim’s own home.
Protecting the elderly
Speaking about the creation of the line, he said: “We’re working hard to understand who and where the most vulnerable groups are, and how we can help them.
“I’m particularly worried about our elderly people. Many people, including myself, will have experienced nursing elderly relatives through disabling illnesses. People with severe dementia are often entirely dependent on others for their care.
“These people can be incredibly vulnerable and need protecting.”
The elder abuse reporting line is the result of joint working between the Essex PCC, Safeguarding Adults Boards for Essex, Thurrock and Southend, and Crimestoppers.
Members of the public are being encouraged to report any incident of elder abuse – including physical, emotional, psychological, financial and neglect.
They can also report online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/essex-elder-abuse.
All pieces of information are taken by Crimestoppers call handlers and passed on to the relevant Safeguarding Adults Boards, or the police if a crime has taken place.
Mr Alston said: “It’s a trial and we’ll see how it goes but we need to be innovative – we should not be afraid of trying new ideas.
“British policing has done a great job at dealing with the volume of crime, we now need to go after those hidden harms – with Crimestoppers’ help we can do that.”
The New Scotland Yard Dinner is an annual event hosted by Crimestoppers.
Police attendees included Essex Chief Constable Steve Kavanagh, and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM, Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service.
As well as an after-dinner speech from Mr Alston, guests heard from Sir Bernard, Crimestoppers founder Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC and Crimestoppers CEO Mark Hallas OBE.