Elderly crime victims to be hit by Bedfordshire cuts

A POLICE charity scheme that visits elderly victims of crime “is facing serious problems” as result of funding cuts.

The Bobby Scheme visits victims, aged 65 and over, and undertakes a survey of their property, making improvements to their house where possible - often for free.

The Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust fund the scheme and their trust administrator, Brian Prickett, says he “grieves” that a reduction in service may have to be made.

The former head of Bedfordshire CID said: “As a police officer I was always concerned that too much was done for the criminal and not a great deal of support for the victim and since we started the Bobby Scheme I have seen at first hand the good it does for the elderly or vulnerable and really does make a difference.

“It grieves me that we may have to reduce this valuable work because of cuts in our finance.”

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The scheme was launched in 1999 and has attended over 15,000 homes in Bedfordshire, many where burglaries had occurred.

However, this year the Trust say that it has been difficult to raise the funding needed to support the scheme with cuts from central and local government.

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The Trust also operate a partner scheme where local companies, organisations and individuals are invited to support the trust by subscribing annually for �250 - with all of the fee going to the Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust.

Partners can also use the partnership’s logo and the Trust also offer a helpline.

Mr Prickett said: “I know this is a difficult time both for companies and individuals but the Bobby Scheme really does work and has a real impact on the lives of elderly people and I do hope that we can encourage people to support us and join as partners.”

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: “The Bobby Scheme run by the charity The Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust is facing serious problems as a result of cuts in funding.

“The trustees are facing the prospect of having to reduce the service given and unfortunately it is the elderly, vulnerable or victims of domestic abuse that will suffer.”

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