Police Advice – Tackling Financial Abuse of Older People

Financial abuse of older people

Many people think that domestic abuse only applies when there is physical violence between couples, but it can involve coercive and controlling behaviour such as financial control.  It can also take place between family members such as sons, daughters or grandchildren.

Domestic abuse is defined as:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over, who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The abuse can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial and or
  • Emotional

Read more information about coercive and controlling behaviour here.

Controlling behaviour, financial abuse or violence is domestic abuse

If you have a relative who is controlling your or your money, or you are worried about someone you know, there are lots of organisations who can help.

Financial control could take the form of a relative always visiting on pension day, and persuading the victim to give them some or all of their money.  Or it could involve the victim being threatened or suffering physical violence.  This is domestic abuse and it is a crime.

Many older people who are suffering this crime will be reluctant to contact the Police, because they won’t want to get their relative into trouble.  In many cases the victim will realise that what is happening is wrong, but they think that the relative will stop visiting them if they don’t give them money. They feel it is worth giving them their money for their company, as it may be the only person they see regularly.


YouTube Video – Bob’s Story – Inspector Esther Hobbs


YouTube Video – Chief Superintendent Joanne Morgan


Getting help

If this is happening to you, or you suspect it is happening to someone you know there are agencies who can offer help and support.

You can contact West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 for non-emergencies or use our 101 Live Chat function.

If a crime is in progress or there is a danger to life you should call 999 immediately.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can use our 101 Live Chat function or TypeTalk 18001 101.

There are West Yorkshire Police Safeguarding Teams in each district. We have dedicated officers who are specially trained to deal with reports of domestic abuse. They will always put the needs of the victim first.

If you would like to report a crime but don’t want to speak to the Police you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Other agencies who can help

Click here to see more local and National domestic abuse organisations.


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