32 elderly citizens killed in last 9 months

Fifty-two el­der­ly peo­ple aged 60 years and over have been mur­dered in Trinidad and To­ba­go be­tween the start of 2018 and now, with the first nine months of 2019 ac­count­ing for 32 of them.

This star­tling dis­clo­sure was made to Guardian Me­dia by the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) on Tues­day.

Of the 32 cas­es this year, six peo­ple were ar­rest­ed and charged, one of which was a fam­i­ly mem­ber of one of the vic­tims.

In 2018, 20 mur­ders were re­port­ed, sev­en of which were de­tect­ed with ten peo­ple ar­rest­ed and charged, one of whom was a fam­i­ly mem­ber.

An ar­ti­cle pub­lished in the Sun­day Guardian on Sep­tem­ber 8, re­vealed that be­tween 2016 and Sep­tem­ber 8, eight per cent of the vic­tims of se­ri­ous crimes in this coun­try have been se­nior cit­i­zens.

In that ar­ti­cle, Janelle Se­bas­t­ian-Reyes, an of­fi­cer at the Vic­tim Wit­ness and Sup­port Unit (VW­SU) of­fi­cer ex­pressed con­cern about how vul­ner­a­ble the coun­try’s rapid­ly grow­ing el­der­ly pop­u­la­tion are to crim­i­nals “Eight per cent is too high!”

Se­bas­t­ian-Reyes, who spoke at a spe­cial ses­sion held on the oc­ca­sion of World Alzheimer’s Day which was held on Sep­tem­ber 21, said the da­ta shows that the el­der­ly have been vic­tims of as­sault by beat­ings, threats and breach of pro­tec­tion or­ders, mur­ders, rape and oth­er sex­u­al of­fences, bur­glar­ies and break-ins, fraud of­fences and lar­ce­ny.

For the same pe­ri­od of 2016- 2019, Se­bas­t­ian-Reyes said, some 229 old­er peo­ple were re­port­ed miss­ing and 53 of them have not yet been found.

Sta­tis­tics from the In­ter­na­tion­al Women’s Re­source Net­work (IWRN) re­vealed that be­tween Jan­u­ary 1, 2018, to Sep­tem­ber 30, 2019, more than 75 se­nior cit­i­zens have ei­ther gone miss­ing or killed in the most grue­some man­ner with at least 90 per cent of those in­ci­dents be­ing com­mit­ted by peo­ple known to them.

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