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Crime against older Victorians on the rise

Victorians aged 65 and older are increasingly the victims of crime and in cases of assault will most likely be hurt by people they know, even their own children, new data shows.

About one-third of assaults on older Victorians are from family members with nearly 61 per cent of these committed by the victim’s child, a Crime Statistics Agency report released on Tuesday reveals.

More than 140,000 crimes have been committed against people in the age category over the past decade, with the most common offences being theft, burglary, property damage and assault.

Nearly two-thirds of older people knew the perpetrator in all crime categories, but this factor dropped to less than five per cent in property and deception offences, the data states.

Almost half of the sexual offences recorded were committed by a known person.

The majority of sexual offences against victims aged 85 or above occurred at nursing homes or healthcare centres.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the Royal Commission into Family Violence shone light on “another silent level”, namely elder abuse where family members are “taking advantage”.

Victoria Police will be taught additional skills in spotting and responding to violence against older people, with 415 specialist officers to start joining family violence units by the end of 2018.

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