In relation to police figures detailing 700 incidents of crime involving violence against older people last year, Evelyn Hoy, Chief Executive, The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland said;"Recent reports of violent crimes against older people hitting an all-time high are shocking, and will increase the fear of crime among older people.

"The former Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge called on the PSNI to do everything in their power to bring offenders to justice quickly and prevent further crime. Training for police officers in dealing with older victims of crime, and thorough collection of all available intelligence and forensic evidence must be a priority. A strong message must be sent to would-be offenders that they will be prosecuted if they carry out these heinous crimes.

"I would also encourage neighbours and relatives to get involved with the PSNI's 'Nominated Neighbour' scheme. This is an initiative that was launched in partnership with COPNI that if an unrecognised caller comes to the home of an older person, the caller will be handed a card instructing them to contact their 'Nominated Neighbour' who will then try and check the caller's identity. This should reduce opportunities for bogus callers to prey on older people, and increase older people's confidence in their own homes. We must all do everything we can to reduce crime and the fear of crime so that older people can live safe, confident and content lives in their own communities."