We lead fight to protect this generation | UK | News

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This newspaper has received widespread backing for a dedicated cabinet minister appointed to look out for the needs of the elderly, represent their concerns and fight their corner at the highest level.

We also want to see tougher sentencing for those who prey on pensioners and have called on ministers to change the law to make elderly abuse a hate crime.

The Daily Express has led the way in exposing a string of despicable crimes in which the elderly have been deliberately targeted by doorstep conmen simply because of their vulnerability.

The true scale of elderly abuse is unknown but independent research suggests around one million people aged 65 and over experience some form of abuse or neglect every year.

Yet millions have been horrified to learn that wanton criminality against those who helped shaped Britain’s future after the Second World War is not treated in the same way as domestic abuse or offences motivated by race, sexual orientation or disability.

Only a change in the law will enable courts to hand down stiffer penalties to gangs of callous cold callers and despicable doorstep salesmen who target OAPs quite deliberately because they are a soft touch.

The crusade, spearheaded by the charity Action On Elder Abuse, has received the backing of television stars Sir Tony Robinson and Dame Esther Rantzen as well as that of MPs from across the political divide.

It also has the support of campaigner Jayne Connery, who wants all care homes in the UK to be fitted with CCTV cameras in communal areas after this newspaper exposed a string of horrifying abuse and neglect by carers.

She says the vast majority of preventable neglect like rough handling, falls in corridors and elderly residents – many of who have dementia – being left unattended takes place in public areas and the elderly need protecting.

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