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NSW GOVERNMENT FAILING TO ADDRESS ELDER ABUSE

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The NSW Government is failing to properly address rising concerns of elder abuse with only 12 police districts currently staffed by an Aged Crime Prevention Officer.

Former Police Minister, David Elliott promised one officer at every police area command and police district but three years on the Government has failed to deliver 44 of these jobs.

There are only four officers in the Sydney Metro area, and only four servicing the entire Southern and Western regions.

To make matters worse, it took three years for the government to announce the hiring of the specialist officers, despite it being a key recommendation of the 2016 NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Elder Abuse .

In response to Budget Estimates questions, Minister for Seniors, Mark Coure failed to outline whether the Government has a timeframe to fill the remaining positions or whether they would consider increasing the number of positions given the growing concerns around elder abuse.

This blasé approach from the Government comes as the Department of Communities and Justice have released data showing calls to the Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline increased by 25 per cent over the last year.

Shadow Minister for Seniors, Jodie Harrison, said the Government had been missing in action on this since the announcement in 2019.

“The fact is the Government has done nothing for three years to achieve the minimal target of one officer for each command.

“Both the NSW Trustee and Guardian and the Ageing and Disability Commissioner have raised serious concerns about elder abuse throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the NSW Government is dragging their feet on this simple step to protect some of our most vulnerable.

“The recruitment process needs to be fast-tracked and these positions need to be filled immediately”.

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