Crime and Abuse Against Seniors:
A Review of the Research Literature With Special Reference to the Canadian Situation


4.2 The Reporting of Crime and Abuse Against Seniors

Well-known to criminologists is the fact that many crimes are not reported to the police. According to the GSS (Table 4.3), about half of all violent crimes against seniors were reported to the police (Ogrodnick, 2007). For property crimes, the reporting rate tends to be even lower. EKOS fraud survey indicated that just a third of fraudulent crimes against seniors were reported to the police (McDonald, 2007). The table below illustrates that seniors who were victims of violent or financial crimes were about as likely to notify health professionals, senior's groups, banks, or credit card companies as they were to report crimes to law enforcement agencies.

Table 4.3 Reporting of Crime and Abuse Aimed at Seniors

Source Reported to Police Reported to Other Agencies or Professionals
Environics Research Group (2008)   39% notified health profs. 30% informed seniors or community groups
EKOS (2007) 35% 44% reported fraud to bank
37% to credit card company
13% spoke with a lawyer

Sources: L. Ogrodnick (2007) Seniors As Victims of Crime 2004 and 2005. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (GSS, 2004); S. McDonald (2007) Seniors and Mass Marketing Fraud: Executive Summary (Ekos Research Survey). Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada; Environics Research Group (2008) Awareness and Perceptions of Canadians Toward Elder Abuse. Ottawa: Human Resources and Social Development Canada.