Pensioner – Prison population soar

By Sandrea:-OPINION

There is an expectation that once you reach the pensionable age that you are going to live your life quietly, do the gardening, look after the grandchildren, go to places that you have dreamt that you wish to go during you younger days, but mostly relaxation and taking it easy is the norm, not so.

The report that prison population among pensioner has soared tremendously and this is causing a great deal of problems for the authority is frightening.  How could this be that people who should be enjoying their retirement are not doing so instead they are committing crimes of which they are being sent to prison for and creating dilemma for the prison authority, how could this be?

This must be of great concern to the authority that they have even give this phenomenon names and dubbed the “grey crime wave” or the rise of the “Saga lout”. I cannot believe what I am reading, when did society reach the point in which our elderly got to the point that they believe that the only way to survive is to commit crime in which they are sent to prison for, have we lost the plot in caring for senior citizen in society?

How can the prison system cope with this new influx of criminals, they are, already struggling to cope with the demands of its own ageing population of lifers and long-term inmates coping with a new wave of elderly crooks is going to drain the meagre resources that they have.

In Scotland the numbers of over-65s charged with drug and weapon crimes more than doubled in four years – from 36 in 2005 to 80 last year.  Drugs and weapons crimes for over 65s and the fact that this has double demonstrate that these crimes are rising for this age group, come on what have society done to these individuals that would allow them to start committing crimes. Obviously, this is not a unique situation because the Welsh forces report a similar rise in aged criminals: they arrested 494 last year, 69 for sex offences and 65 for theft.

These individuals like Victor Mildrew, ‘have one foot in the grave’ (Popular sitcom), so what are they trying to prove, are they trying to recapture their youth?  Or could this be because they are finding it difficult to meet everyday requirements and the pension that they are force to live on is inadequate and therefore they have decided to commit crimes to substitute their income.  Irrespective of the what and why’s this is a frightening trend and one that must be addressed by the government.  We cannot have ourselves a granddad and grandma prison population, this is ridiculous.

I am not advocating that pensioners are not people and as such they have the same propensity to commit crime as much as a young person, but what you do not want to see is a rise in this is trend to such extend that the prison authority is begin to be overly concerned about this so much so that Kingston prison in Portsmouth has become the first in the country to provide a special “elderly wing” with stairlifts and other adaptations.

Despite varying opinions I personally believe that this crime wave of pensioners that is happening also in the Netherlands, France, Japan and Israel, is a demonstration that the elderly is tired of living hand – to – mouth and they have decided to join the criminal elements that they have seen living in luxury without having to do a decent days work in their lives, I cannot agree with the methods that they are employing, but I do understand the difficulties that exist when you barely have enough

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