Law Enforcement Considerations for Care Homes
Care and nursing facilities currently home around 1.4 million American citizens. However, they are frequently overlooked when it comes to crime reporting and statistics, with an August 2017 study finding that nursing home criminality statistics are rarely collected. Whilst criminality in care homes is unthinkable, it does unfortunately occur.
Fortunately, there is plenty you can be aware of, and elements to assist you as a law enforcement professional. The benefits will be a secure community and faith in the local police department as beneficial as a well-presented public facing element.
Common misconceptions exist around the tools that seniors have at their disposals in care, nursing and their own homes. For instance, silver alerts were introduced in 2008 and are designed for the assistance of police – yet, many are purely responded to by care homes and medical associations. Additionally, many seniors utilize emergency response devices, too, and these are often responded to by medical emergency operators where often police can be aware of their usage in response to criminality.
By maintaining awareness of the common tools and devices used by both seniors and the homes they are living in, you and your colleagues will be able to know when and how to respond to the various signals you may well receive.
Investigation and Reporting
As touched on above, studies have found that crime often goes unreported and statistics not collected when it comes to care and nursing homes. It’s clear, then, that making sure the crime is reported is key, as is proactive policing to make sure that issues are identified and addressed before they can balloon. 2016 saw the growth of predictive policing through clever technology, though mainly tailored to common street crimes and identifying hotspots in order to proactively engage in that area.
Finally, a word on ‘old fashioned’ policing and law enforcement. Getting out and about in the community and maintaining links with councilors, local figureheads, businesses and families is one of the best way to stay abreast of issues. Whilst it can seem time consuming with calls and other responsibilities also nagging at your daily schedule, using a digital organizer to make time for community calls can be a great way at preempting issues.
Law enforcement around care and nursing homes is a delicate area, requiring sensitivity and hard work to make sure people are protected. These tips can help build your awareness and the safety of those in your community.