A Garda action plan to make elderly residents feel safe in their homes and communities was today rolled out across the country.
Gathering a register of pensioners in each district, advising them how to handle bogus callers and community gardaí taking time to have a cup of tea with senior citizens were among the initiatives announced.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said the older people strategy is about reducing the fear of crime among residents, assuring them that gardaí are there to protect them when they walk the streets or sit in their homes at night.
“It’s about communication with elderly people, it’s about community gardaí working with elderly people, knowing who the people in their districts are that could be in danger,” he said.
“It’s to ensure they have a sense of the Garda Síochána's ability to protect them.”
Deputy commissioner Nacie Rice has been appointed to drive strategy, launched at Garda Headquarters to mark Positive Ageing Week. It was developed with 50 agencies to ensure the policing needs of older people in Ireland are met to the highest possible standard.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the strategy would raise awareness among the general public and gardaí across the country.
“Community policing brings dedicated gardaí in to communities so that ordinary people will know their gardaí and gardaí will know ordinary people,” said Mr Ahern.
“As a society we want the message to go out very strongly that anyone who commits a crime against an elderly person, particularly a defenceless elderly person who’s living on their own in a rural or urban area, that there should be no quarter given to those people.”