Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Groomsport - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Our elderly and vulnerable must be better protected

Monday 28th November 2011

It is high time we did something to deter violent attacks against the elderly. This is of particular concern to me as in North Down, especially in my own area of Ballyholme and Groomsport, there are many elderly and vulnerable people, some of whom live alone or in sheltered accommodation.

It is high time we did something to deter violent attacks against the elderly. This is of particular concern to me as in North Down, especially in my own area of Ballyholme and Groomsport, there are many elderly and vulnerable people, some of whom live alone or in sheltered accommodation. These are heinous crimes and sometimes it seems that our legal system protects the guilty more than the innocent. 

At the annual DUP conference at the weekend I asked the following question to a panel of some of our senior elected representatives, ‘given the rise in violent crimes against the elderly is it not time to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for such crimes against the most vulnerable in our society?‘ 

They agreed that was indeed time to introduce some more stringent sentencing. 

I was further encouraged by a related statement made by the First Minister, Peter Robinson’s in his key address, ‘And we will introduce tougher sentences for those who are charged and found guilty of attacks on older people. So as far as we are concerned, if you attack a pensioner, pack your bags, you’re going to jail‘ 

Now is the time to introduce a new tariff for crimes against the elderly. 

This policy is something that I want to lobby for at the highest levels – starting with the Justice Minister, David Ford. There will of course be people with a liberal view point who will oppose this policy every step of the way. 

My question to them would be ‘how would you feel if it was your father or mother who was attacked?

I will be publishing monthly updates on the progress of this campaign on my website www.pjmartin.org. The website will also offer links to various support organisations for those who have been subject to this form of crime.

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