Improving Access to Justice For Older Victims of Crime: Older People as Victims of Crime and the Response of the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland

Faith Gordon, Kevin Brown

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportOther


This report examines how to improve access to justice for older victims of crime in Northern Ireland. It explores crime against older people in Northern Ireland and responses to it by the criminal justice system. An older person is defined for the purposes of this study as anyone aged 60 or over.
• The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland commissioned this research. Researchers from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast conducted the study. The first phase of research study was undertaken from January – July 2016. The second phase was conducted between January – April 2018. A further update was made January-March 2019.
• The study had a number of aims:
(1) to better understand the experiences and expectations of older people when
they are victims of crime in Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to their
interactions with the agencies of the criminal justice system.
(2) to better understand how the criminal justice agencies, in particular the Police
Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Public Prosecution Service of Northern
Ireland (PPS) respond to crimes involving older people as victims.
(3) to make any relevant recommendations based on the research findings.
• This research study adopted a mixed methods approach combining analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. A statistical analysis of PSNI and PPS statistics was undertaken. In addition, interviews and focus groups were conducted with older people including those who have been victims of crime, as well as family members of older victims. Interviews and focus groups were also conducted with staff from the PSNI, PPS, Victim and Witness Crime Unit and Victim Support NI. The analysis of the results was informed by existing literature.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
Commissioning bodyCommissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland
Number of pages242
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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