Legal Information Centre


21 October 2008 by Mary Heaney

Government to protect elderly victims from family thefts

The Government has set out new measures to prevent family members stealing the savings and pensions of elderly relatives in response to reports that elderly people fell prey to members of their own family for tens of millions of pounds last year.
The Government has set out new measures to prevent family members stealing the savings and pensions of elderly relatives. The move comes in response to reports that elderly people fell prey to members of their own family for tens of millions of pounds last year.

 

The proposals entail the monitoring of elderly people's accounts to pick up any out of the ordinary cash withdrawals or direct debits. Banks, building societies and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) would be responsible for informing the authorities of such movements.

 

According to charity Action on Elder Abuse, 53% of such financial abuse that was reported was committed by the victims own sons or daughters. In that year the reported amount of stolen money came to £7,840,880.

 

Current laws already protect older people in residential homes and those supported by care workers in their own home but do not cover those cared for friends or family. The consultation document Safeguarding Adults also proposes that social workers be given the power to check up on how such individuals are cared for in their own home.




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