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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.

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Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:

1 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 -

2  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 Overview

3 Source: German Federal Statistics Office Germany: Change in age structure of population

4 Population ageing in Germany, 1960-2050: % of population < 20 y. and 80 y.+ Source: Federal Statistics Office, 2008

5 Germany: dependency ratios 1950-2060 Source: German Federal Statistics Office

6 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

7 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

8 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)

9  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 Older age – a risk factor for victimization?

10 Age and police-recorded risk of violent victimization Source: Police Crime Statistics, Federal Republic of Germany

11 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

12 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

13 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 ….

14  Continuously rising life expectancy  Frailty, care dependency, functional restrictions occur at higher ages   Gerontology: „third age“ – „fourth age“ distinction (Baltes) (1) Old age ≠ old age

15 Limitations of 4 th 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 (2) We know little about victimization in 4 th age

16 (3) There are specific danger zones in old age Focus on:  Property offences targeted at the very old  Abuse and neglect in caregiving

17 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 relationships by posing as relatives (via telephone), craftsmen etc.  Targeted at "fourth agers" in private households and with control over their possessions

18 Victims of deception burglary / larceny-by-trick per 1.000 inhabitants of resp. age group per year Based on police data; German federal state of Bremen, Jan 2004 – May 2006 - the very old - especially women (living alone)

19 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).

20 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

21 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

22 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

23 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

24 Incident-based typology of elder abuse /neglect 4. intention to harm, intent existing across situations 3. intention to harm, intent limited to situation 2. no intention to harm + abuse / neglect across situations 1. no intention to harm + abuse / neglect limited to situation +- intention to harm? abuse trans-situational? + -

25 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

26 And what about the young?

27 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)

28 Demographic change: Shrinking population / declining numbers of juveniles

29 Extrapolating trends in juvenile crime from police crime statistics Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study

30 Extrapolating trends in juvenile crime by gender Source: Görgen et al. (2010). Report on YouthCrime2020 study Male juveniles Female juveniles

31 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

32 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

33 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

34 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

35 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

36 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 4 th 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….

37 Thank you for your attention! Thomas Görgen German Police University Department of Criminology and Crime Prevention thomas.goergen@dhpol.de


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