There has been a steep rise in the number of pensioners convicted of violent crimes since 1997 in England and Wales, research by the Liberal Democrats has found.
However, the definition of violent crimes currently includes a range of offences including using abusive language or wilfully obstructing a traffic officer in the execution of their duties.
The figures, revealed in a Parliamentary answer, show:
- More than 1,500 people over-65 have been convicted of violent crimes between 1997 and 2007
- 66 more elderly men were convicted in 2007 than in 1997, an increase of 69%
- 16 more elderly women were convicted in 2007 than in 1997, an increase of 267%
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Paul Holmes said:
“It seems the Government’s obsession with criminalising people even includes the elderly.
“Labour’s target-driven, box-ticking approach to policing, where minor misdemeanours are treated the same as convictions for murder or rape, has led to mass criminalisation.
“I find it more likely that this increase is down to a Government which has created a new crime for every day in office, rather than pensioners being twice as violent as 10 years ago.
“Liberal Democrats would put more police on the streets and expand their discretion to use restorative justice, rather than meeting Government tick boxes.”