Trends in Types and Amount of Crimes Committed by the Elderly in Europe

  • Maxmilian Edelbacher


This paper focuses on the changes in the amount and types of crime committed by the elderly in Europe. It also explores the ways the elderly are victimized by criminals. Information on the criminal activity and the victimization of the elderly was obtained from government documents and research conducted in Europe and in the United States.

The age of 65 and older was used to define the elderly in this chapter. As a result of great improvements in healthcare, communications, education, and changes in social relationships, the populations of most countries throughout the world are growing older. The elderly are living longer, are generally working longer, and have more formal and informal contacts with people outside their primary social groups than what was the case in the past. As a consequence, as found in the research for this chapter, the elderly have more opportunities to commit crime and also may have more reasons for wanting to commit crimes. The findings of the research for this chapter reveal that the proportion of the total amount of several types of property crimes, such as fraud, theft, and tax evasion committed by the elderly, has increased and the proportion of several types of violent crimes committed by the elderly has also increased from previous years.

In addition, the amount of victimization of the elderly in the categories of violent crime, theft, and fraud has significantly increased from that of previous years.

The challenges of these changes in the criminal activities and victimization of the elderly present to governments and law enforcement agencies are explored in this chapter.


European Union European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS) UNODC Global Study Financial crime Property crime Organized crime Terrorism Push-pull theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxmilian Edelbacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Police of Austria (Retired)ViennaAustria

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