Sugden hits out at pathetic rural thieves

MLA Claire Sugden
MLA Claire Sugden

Independent Coleraine MLA, Claire Sugden, says she is “disgusted” about recent crimes targeting older people in the Limavady and Garvagh.

In a statement, Ms Sudgen said: “Individuals who attack vulnerable adults and older people are pathetic and deserve to be severely punished.”

The Assembly member revealed that she had raised her concerns about crime and fear of crime among older people with the Justice Minister.

“I am disappointed he has met with the Commissioner for Older People only twice since 2013 to discuss this.

“He needs to do more to tackle these appalling crimes.

It is shameful that many older people fear their safety in their own homes. Fantastic community work from organisations such as Good Morning Causeway and local PSNI teams help the problem but the reality is that this type of crime is increasing and older people continue to be targeted.

“The Minister needs to take a strong lead to bring all stakeholders together to challenge crime and fear of crime against older people.

“Older people need reassurance that their fears are being taken seriously.

“I represent a rural constituency with many crimes committed against people living in isolated areas.

“Rural isolation needs to form part of community policing strategy, so those living in the country do not feel like they are forgotten about.”

Last week the home of a Garvagh couple was ransacked in a burglary. The couple were allegedly threatened with a screw driver and a poker during the incident, which police say was carried out by four men.