In the last two years, 28 senior citizens in the city have been murdered. While 11 crimes were committed in 2010, 17 murders have been reported in 2011.
The rise in the crime against senior citizens — though not sharp — underscores the fact that elderly people are being considered as easy targets.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said, “The 17 cases registered with the Mumbai police this year have been detected. In 15 instances, the victims knew the accused, with sons or close relatives being involved in three of them.”
“Only two cases were committed by strangers who came with an intention of committing robbery,” he said.
The police feel the lax attitude of the citizens towards safety warnings issued by the police department is to be blamed for the rise in crime.
Elderly citizens who stay alone hire house helps without checking their background, thus risking their lives.
“Generally, in most cases, the crime is plotted by acquaintances who are given easy access to the house by senior citizens,” said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Police feel that while senior citizens are wary of strangers, they generally tend to ignore the safety precautions in case of acquaintances.
The family and relatives too should check on the safety of the senior citizens and be aware of any acquaintances made by them.
“The problem needs to be addressed. Senior citizens need to be more careful,” said Roy.
Besides, senior citizens can also seek help from the local police station. The police keep an eye on house helps and visitors at the resident registered with them.