Delhi Police data shows that 63 cases of crime against the elderly were reported in the city last year between January and September while 85 cases have been reported in the corresponding period this year – a rise of 35%.The cases include murder, attempt to murder, robbery, theft,cybercrime and sexual assault.
According to cops, 51 cases, or 60%, have been solved this year. Last year, 57 cases, or 90%, were solved, as per the data. While police made 97 arrests last time, 91 people have been held in 2023. Police said in most murder cases, the accused were known to the victims and gained their trust first.
Cybercrime cases targeting senior citizens on rise in city
For instance, two men were arrested for the murder of a 73-year-old woman and her differently-abled daughter in east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar in June. According to cops, one of them used to teach the daughter and allegedly hatched the conspiracy with his cousin.
In another case, a 75-year-old man was murdered in Sainik Farm in February. Cops arrested a man, Mukul, who had come to the victim’s house for whitewashing a week earlier and had discovered he used to live alone in his bungalow. He allegedly plotted and executed the murder with his associates.
Apart from murders, police said they have also solved three of the four attempted murder cases, 10 of the 17 robbery cases and both the cases of sexual assault reported this year.
A total of 47,551 senior citizens are registered with the Delhi Police senior citizen cell, said police. At least 727 complaints have been received this year, most of them related to family and property disputes.
An officer said apart from heinous and street crimes, there was an increase in cybercrime cases concerning senior citizens. “Fraudsters are duping elderly people through sextortion, by threatening to circulate obscene pictures and videos of them on social media,” he said.
Delhi Police PRO Suman Nalwa said the force is “sensitive to the needs of vulnerable groups, including senior citizens, and committed to making the city safer for them”.
“There is an exclusive helpline for elderly people, they have also been issued senior citizen cards and we ensure regular visits by local police. Security audits are also conducted regularly. Additionally, many districts have special contact programmes with senior citizens where health camps are conducted,” she added.
Cops said they regularly hold meetings with senior citizens regarding their safety and security. “During visits, staff also check safety equipment like cameras and safety alarms installed in their houses,” an officer said.
Another officer said apart from ensuring safety, cops also help the elderly with emotional distress and loneliness. “Personnel visit senior citizens at their homes in the evening and connect them with their children who live abroad through phone or video calls,” he added.