A rise in violent crimes against older people in New York
Violent crimes such as robbery and felony assault against people 65 and older rose by about 10% in 2022 compared with 2021, part of an overall surge in major crimes in the city, according to police.
The number of rapes more than doubled to 17 during the same period. Cases of grand larceny — which include financial scams and credit card fraud — dipped 6% but remained high at 3,780 incidents.
Older New Yorkers who have read alarming news stories about the spike in crime are fearful, community leaders say. Some had been reluctant to return to senior centers, which had closed during the pandemic. Those who do venture out request rides to and from the centers to avoid walking or taking the subway.
Others are signing up for defense classes or are cloistering themselves.
A need to find more resources and public safety tools to help older New Yorkers is occurring as the number of people 65 and older has risen. Nearly 1 in 6 New Yorkers, or 3.2 million state residents, are 65 and older, according to a 2020 study by Syracuse University. Its researchers also found that the older adult population was growing faster than any other age group in the state.
In the city, the number of people 65 and older is expected to jump more than 40% to 1.4 million by 2040, according to a 2013 study by the city’s department of planning. By comparison, the city’s general population is supposed to grow by 9.5%.
The state and city said they were working to help older New Yorkers feel less isolated and empowered to report crimes such as elder abuse, which remains underreported, according to organizations that work with senior populations.
Source: New York Times