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Crime and violence in times of demographic change Abuse of the old? And what about the young?. Prof. Thomas Görgen, PhD German Police University - Criminology and Crime Prevention -. Overview. Demography …. .... and why it matters Victimization in old age
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Crime and violence in times of demographic changeAbuse of the old? And what about the young? Prof. Thomas Görgen, PhD German Police University - Criminology and Crime Prevention -
Overview • Demography …. • .... and why it matters • Victimization in old age • A closer look at some risks in later life • Juvenile crime in times of shrinking youth cohorts • Expert recommendations on the future of juvenile crime prevention and control • Some conclusions
Germany: Change in age structure of population Source: German Federal Statistics Office
Population ageing in Germany, 1960-2050: % of population < 20 y. and 80 y.+ Source: Federal Statistics Office, 2008
Germany: dependency ratios 1950-2060 Source: German Federal Statistics Office
Data on nursing care /care dependency in Germany • 31.12.2009: 2.38 mil. care recipients (drawing benefits from LTC insurance) • 69% in-home care; home care mostly provided by relatives; trend towards more professional care • 12/2009: ca. 12.000 home care services nationwide; ca. 11.600 residential care institutions • estimates: • 3.27 mil. care recipients in 2030 • 4.36 mil. care recipients in 2050 Sources: Federal Statistics Office / Federal Department of Health
Age and criminal behaviour • Across societies and throughout history, criminal behaviour peaks in adolescence and early adulthood ( „Age Crime Curve“) Source: Mastrigt & Farrington (2009); police registered offences in a region in Northern England, March 2005-Februayr 2008
Our forefathers knew about that … "I would there were no age betweene ten and three and twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest: for there is nothing in the betweene but getting wenches with childe, wronging the Auncientry, stealing, fighting." (William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale)
Older age – a risk factor for victimization? • Generally no: Victimization risks in age group 60+ are lower than in all other phases of adulthood • Lower victimization risks in later life to be found … • In police crime statistics • In data from population-based victimization surveys
Age and police-recorded risk of violent victimization Source: Police Crime Statistics, Federal Republic of Germany
Victimization survey, Germany 2005: 5-year prevalence of victimization by victim’s gender + age (%; 3.030 subjects aged 40-85; 16 violent, sexual + property offences ) Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
Victimization survey, Germany 2005: 12-month prevalence of psych. aggression/ phys. assault by family/household members (%) Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
The picture seems fairly clear …. • Adults aged 60-85 years are victimized less often than younger adults. • This applies to • Police recorded as well as unrecorded (self-reported) experiences of crime • "crime in the streets" / stranger-perpetrated offences as well as domestic violence • But, we have consider a few more aspects ….
(1) Old age ≠ old age • Continuously rising life expectancy • Frailty, care dependency, functional restrictions occur at higher ages • Gerontology: „third age“ – „fourth age“ distinction (Baltes)
(2) We know little about victimization in 4th age Limitations of 4th age simultaneously affect • Ability to participate in large-scale social science surveys • Ability to report victimizations to police • Vulnerability with regard to • Committing offenses against older person • Concealing offences committed against older person • Severity and persistence of consequences of victimization
(3) There are specific danger zones in old age Focus on: • Property offences targeted at the very old • Abuse and neglect in caregiving
Danger zones in the fourth age (1):Property crimes targeted at the very old • Deception burglary / larceny-by-trick / fraudulent offences ("it's me scam") • Offenders select victims because of characteristics associated with very old age (weak, slow, easy to deceive, lives alone…..) • Perpetrators pretend trust relationshipsby posing as relatives (via telephone), craftsmen etc. • Targeted at "fourth agers" in private households and with control over their possessions
Victims of deception burglary / larceny-by-trick per 1.000 inhabitants of resp. age group per year - the very old - especially women (living alone) Based on police data; German federal state of Bremen, Jan 2004 – May 2006
Danger zones in the fourth age (2):Abuse and neglect of older care recipients • Being a family caregiver or occupying a work role that permits close contact opens opportunities for crime / abuse. • Caregiving creates multiple potential for conflicts from which abuse and neglect may arise. • Care in domestic settings represents “perfect opportunity structures" for motivated offenders (very low formal and informal social control).
Self-report survey among home-care nurses 12 month prevalence of problem behaviour towards care recipients (% of nurses; n=427; 2005) Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
Survey of home-care nurses: Risk factors for problem behaviour towards care recipients Higher risk for nurses who • report frequent assaults by care recipients • regularly care for a high number of care recipients suffering from dementia • use alcohol to cope with work-related stress • judge the overall quality of care provided by the home-care service they are employed by as poor Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
Self-report survey among family caregivers: 12 month prevalence of problem behaviour towards care recipients (% caregivers; n=254; 2006/07) Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
Qualitative interview study: Interviews with care recipients, family caregivers, nurses (Germany 2005/2006) Factors linked to abuse by family caregivers • low quality of pre-caregiving relationship • motivation to care mainly financially based • stressed caregiver attributing care recipient‘s behaviour to „bad intentions“ (and not to illness) • caregiver‘s bad physical and mental health • caregiver‘s substance abuse • caregiver‘s missing knowledge about illnesses • poverty / lack of financial resources • care recipient‘s challenging behaviour Study funded by German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women, and Youth
Incident-based typology of elder abuse /neglect + - intention to harm? 4. intention to harm, intent existing across situations 2. no intention to harm + abuse / neglect across situations + abuse trans-situational? 3. intention to harm, intent limited to situation 1. no intention to harm + abuse / neglect limited to situation -
Security in later life: the overall picture • Life in later adulthood (60+) is relatively safe in general. • However, there are specific risks for very old people and for those requiring care: • older people being selectively targeted by property offenders due to characteristics associated with very old age • specific risk factors and opportunity structures associated with care dependency / caregiving • Abuse of care-dependent older people: • caregiving burdensome; high potential for conflict • perfect opportunity structures for motivated offenders
Study „YouthCrime2020“ • Commissioned by Conference of the German Ministers of the Interior in 2009 • Primary focus: forecast on possible trends in youth crime / youth violence up to 2020; implications for prevention and intervention • Multi method – multi perspective approach: • Combining qualitative-heuristic methods (Delphi survey; scenario method, qualitative interviews) with extrapolations of crime data • Integrating perspectives of researchers and of practitioners in different fields (police, judiciary, social work, crime prevention)
Extrapolating trends in juvenile crime from police crime statistics Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
Extrapolating trends in juvenile crime by gender Male juveniles Female juveniles Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
YouthCrime2020: Synthesis of expert views on trends in youth crime In the next decade, youth crime is expected to be mainly • widespread delinquency • of predominantly low severity • and in most cases a transitory developmental phenomenon. But: specific problems to be expected • in marginalized social groups / communities / neighbourhoods • especially in metropolitan areas In these „multi problem neighbourhoods“, experts expect • rising juvenile crime • higher percentage of repeat offenders Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
YouthCrime2020: Synthesis of expert views on trends in youth crime (2) • Increasing role of girls in juvenile offending • Increase of non-physical aggression (bullying, stalking, harassment etc.) • Trend towards violence committed by short-lived spontaneous groups • Technological development changes opportunity structures and phenomenology of youth crime / delinquency • Repeat offenders • from marginalized groups / neighbourhoods • mainly in urban / metropolitan areas • more offences committed by groups Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
Expert views on the future of tackling juvenile crime • Key features of strategy against youth crime / • Broad range of measures – ranging from early support for families at risk of violence, poverty, social disintegration to timely law enforcement response to severe forms of juvenile crime • Measures specifically targeted at certain groups and offences • Multi-agency work – especially connecting police, school, Youth welfare services Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
Expert recommendations (1) • Sceptical view on primarily punitive measures (e.g. raising maximum sentences in juvenile criminal law); exception: acceleration of criminal justice response / celerity of sanctions • Police work requires specialization on youth crime, cultural diversity training, increasing number of officers with migration background • Refining police concepts for persistent offenders and for young persons at risk of becoming career offenders • Needs cooperation with welfare, schools, courts, public prosecutors, probationary service etc. • Evaluation research on effectiveness of concepts needed Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
Expert recommendations (2) • Multi-agency case conferences targeted at repeat offenders • Conducting local analyses of crime and security problems (including surveys tackling unrecorded crime / fear of crime etc.) • Institutionalization of knowledge exchange between German police forces on problems of youth crime • Taking stock of programmes targeted at repeat offenders • Setting up and maintaining a German database on evaluated prevention programs Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study
Crime in times of demographic change • Ageing societies present challenges and opportunities for crime control / crime prevention. • Age-crime curve Generally, demographic change will rather reduce than increase crime rates. • Specific risks of vulnerable 4th agers to be taken into consideration (“hard-to-reach population”). • Shrinking youth cohorts will probably decrease volume of crime; challenge of refining concepts directed at persistent offenders. • Inter-agency cooperation necessary and promising with regard to the young and the (very) old. • Ageing police forces – another side of demographic change. But that would be a whole new story….
Thank you for your attention! • Thomas Görgen • German Police University • Department of Criminology and Crime Prevention • email@example.com