NORTH Antrim Mervyn Storey DUP has called for vigilance from residents in North Antrim to counter the risk of attacks on the elderly in the weeks running into the Christmas period.
“Vigilance and regular contact with isolated or vulnerable elderly residents can greatly reduce the risk of attacks on them and make it difficult for criminal types to predict their state of isolation,” Mr. Storey said in a statement.
He went on: “This can be as helpful as reporting suspicious incidents to the PSNI.”
Mr. Storey said that while there were a number of reports of attacks on elderly people across Northern Ireland in recent weeks, the broader statistics suggested that attacks remained thankfully low.
“Statistics still suggest that elderly folk living alone or in isolation are generally safe, but this in no way reassures me that criminal activity cannot be thwarted by responsible communities. We all know someone elderly who lives alone or in an isolated area and we should all take a little time to visit them and provide them with support and reassurance.”
Mr. Storey said he supported the call from party colleague Gregory Campbell for a united Executive approach to greater sentences for criminals attacking the elderly in their own homes and added that the DUP believed in tougher sentences for crimes against elderly or vulnerable people as part of a confidence building approach that would also intimidate the would-be attackers and discourage them.
“The annual Party Conference in a few weeks will be making attacks on our elderly a central issue during the session on crime. We want to work with other parties to bring forward legislation through the Executive.”
The North Antrim MLA added that if there was a failure to bring forward legislation through the Executive the DUP would be seeking to make changes through a Private Member’s Bill in the Assembly.