Safety in spot­light at se­niors fo­rum

Melville Times - - News -

SAFETY, in­clu­sion and aged-care ser­vices were all in the spot­light at a se­niors fo­rum at­tended by Min­is­ter for Se­niors and Age­ing Mick Mur­ray on Tues­day.

Nearly 100 peo­ple packed Ka­did­jiny Park Hall for the event, which gave older res­i­dents an op­por­tu­nity to meet with Mr Mur­ray, Palmyra Po­lice Sta­tion of­fi­cer-in­charge Se­nior Sergeant Gavin Radice and Coun­cil on the Age­ing (COTA) chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Teale and direc­tor Bob Kucera.

Mr Kucera, a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer and La­bor min­is­ter, spoke pri­mar­ily about safety and crime preven­tion.

He said that, sta­tis­ti­cally, se­niors were far less likely to be a vic­tim of crime than other sec­tors of the pop­u­la­tion, but ad­vised el­derly peo­ple to leave their wal­lets, keys and other valu­ables in an eas­ily lo­cat­able place in their homes to min­imise the risk of con­fronta­tion and vi­o­lent bur­glar­ies .

He also ad­vised se­niors to catch pub­lic trans­port and com­plete their weekly shop in a group if pos­si­ble, as well as to use the ATMs in­side shop­ping cen­tres rather than out on the street.

One area of crime where se­niors were over-rep­re­sented was on­line scams and Mr Kucera said se­niors should ex­er­cise ex­treme cau­tion when us­ing the in­ter­net.

“Re­mem­ber, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is,” he said.

“You might think that you’re speak­ing on­line with a hand­some wid­ower, but it’s far more likely to be a Nige­rian scam­mer.”

He fin­ished by sug­gest­ing that peo­ple get to know their neigh­bours and set up a “tele­phone tree” so that every­one in the sub­urb is quickly alerted and turns on their out­side lights if there is an in­ci­dent.

Sergeant Radice said the per­cep­tion was far worse than the re­al­ity when it came to crime against se­niors and that there had been a 19 per cent re­duc­tion in of­fences in the Palmyra sub-district, which cov­ers the ma­jor­ity of the City of Melville, in the past year.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion about a lack of in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to re­cently di­ag­nosed de­men­tia pa­tients and their car­ers, Mr Mur­ray said he was work­ing on ad­dress­ing the lack of co­he­sion be­tween med­i­cal and aged-care ser­vices.

COTA direc­tor Bob Kucera, Bic­ton MLA Lisa O’Mal­ley and Min­is­ter for Se­niors and Age­ing Mick Mur­ray.

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