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New garda plan to make elderly feel safe at home

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 gardai 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 gardai 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 gardai 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 Siochana'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 are met to the highest possible standard.

"Community policing brings dedicated gardai in to communities so that ordinary people will know their gardai and gardai will know ordinary people," said Justice Minister Dermot 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."