Australian Institute of Criminology

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The victimisation of older Australians

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 212

Carlos Carcach, Adam Graycar and Glenn Muscat

ISBN 0 642 24237 2 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2001

Abstract

This paper uses data from an Australia wide survey of victims of crime undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology to examine the victimisation of older people. The study finds that older people have lower rates of crime victimisation than the rest of the population. Among older Australians, consumer fraud is 2.2 times more prevalent than assault, which is the most common of the violent offences. Variations in victimisation risk among older people are explained by differences in their recreational activities in the evening and by marital status. Crime prevention should be tailored to specific types of victim. Socially advantaged older people may benefit from security measures to protect household or personal property as well as safe recreational patterns; while socially disadvantaged older people need enhanced community support.