Recent incidents of crime targeted against senior citizens, especially women, raise serious questions on the measures required to ensure their safety.

The murder for gain of an old woman in R.S. Puram police limits, the attempt to gag and tie-up a 65-year-old at Saravanampatti last week, and the four incidents of chain snatching reported in Peelamedu police limits point to how criminals choose senior citizens as easy targets.

People living in gated communities and old age homes stand insulated to some extent but those living in individual houses, especially in far flung areas or upcoming suburbs, are increasingly becoming vulnerable targets.

While the city has not witnessed a specific trend of property related offences, chain snatching or murders targeting only senior citizens, the recent incidents are seen as an eye-opener for the police as well as the senior citizens to take precaution.

City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan says criminals often target aged women as they would not be able to resist or fight back.

Aged people should always avoid going out alone. Even when accompanied by their family members, they should avoid wearing heavy jewellery that could attract criminals.

Those staying alone in individual houses should desist from having valuables and cash and should have them deposited in safe vaults. Even if one had cash or jewellery at home, it should be the least discussed matter especially before flower vendors, LPG cylinder delivery boys, grocery shop delivery boys, servant maids, laundry boys, cable TV technicians, drivers, electricians and plumbers, Mr.Viswanathan says.

While engaging or hiring workers such as drivers and servant maids on a regular basis, senior citizens should insist on getting their photograph and address proof and if required, they could always approach the police for getting their antecedents verified in a discreet manner.

Senior citizens should always have contact with the Station House Officer of the jurisdiction police station and should never hesitate to inform the police in the event of they turning suspicious about somebody’s intentions or closeness and also in the event of any disturbing trend putting their safety into question.

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