Pensioners dubbed 'Saga Louts' commit spate of crimes in Cumbria

Crimes executed by dozens of over-60s include theft, fraud, shoplifting, drink-driving and sexual offences

Katie Grant
Thursday 25 February 2016 01:41
Poverty may be to blame for the spate of crimes committed by OAPs, according Age UK
Poverty may be to blame for the spate of crimes committed by OAPs, according Age UK

Scores of pensioners in Cumbria have been convicted for committing crimes over the past 12 months, according to police figures.

Crimes executed by dozens of over-60s, dubbed the “Saga Louts”, include theft, fraud, shoplifting, drink-driving and sexual offences. An 84-year-old man is one of the oldest of the 64 pensioners to have been convicted in the region in the past year, Cumbria Police revealed.

Theft was the number-one offence committed by south Cumbria’s silver-haired criminals, followed by assault, having a dangerous dog and harassment. The most common crime among OAPs in the west of the county was also theft, followed by assault and causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress.

The spate of crimes committed by people in this age bracket could be a direct result of being plunged into poverty, according the UK’s largest charity for older people.

"The majority of elderly people are on a fixed income yet rent and bills and other outgoings continue to rise…They live in destitution and then end up in A&E,” said Hugh Tomlinson, deputy chief officer of Age UK South Lakeland.

Mr Tomlinson said the number of elderly people seeking welfare advice and being directed to food banks had spiked in the past 18 months.

“People are desperate," he added.

A spokesman from Cumbria Police said: "We work to keep people safe and remove from our communities anyone who poses a threat or causes harm.”

The spokesman added: "Our teams of officers and detectives work hard to trace these offenders and bring them to justice, and age is no deterrent to prosecution."

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