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Should ageism be considered a hate crime?

(64 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 16-Oct-18 08:03:08

We've been asked to speak on BBC radio about this story: asking if certain prejudices - including ageism - should be treated as hate crimes. What are your thoughts?

sodapop Tue 16-Oct-18 08:46:24

I think we have enough hatred in the world without creating more.

kittylester Tue 16-Oct-18 08:58:19

No! Obviously ageism in employment is not a good thing but I am fed up of all the isms we have to content with.

Now, baby boomer ism might be a different thing.

Bridgeit Tue 16-Oct-18 09:26:09

Depends on the definition of hate crimes, if a persons ‘age ism ‘spills over into violent or abusive behaviour then surely it is already covered by the law .

KatyK Tue 16-Oct-18 09:43:44

No. It's annoying, irritating and patronising but a hate crime? I don't think so personally.

Smileless2012 Tue 16-Oct-18 09:48:30

I agree Katy and of course ageism isn't just something that the elderly face, the young can also be targeted.

Fennel Tue 16-Oct-18 10:22:37

What does ageism as a 'hate crime' include?
Speech? Physical abuse? Neglect?
What penalties?

KatyK Tue 16-Oct-18 10:33:27

Yes Smilesless It's getting ridiculous. We are becoming too sensitive. Wolf whistling is considered a hate crime I believe. When I was a teenager, if I didn't get wolf whistled when I went out, I would be upset. Yes, times change and we have to move with them but sometimes I despair.

henetha Tue 16-Oct-18 10:40:16

Absolutely not. There are too many rules and regulations now. We'll all end up like robots.
Not that I like ageism, of course, but the whole world seems to be taking offence against everything these days.

Jalima1108 Tue 16-Oct-18 10:50:18

No, it should not.

Now, baby boomer ism might be a different thing.
I agree kittylester
Add to that 'Millennialism'
and 'Snowflakeism'

I dislike the inter-generational strife that is being whipped up by such as the Intergenerational Foundation.

Pilgrim11 Tue 16-Oct-18 10:59:17


grannytotwins Tue 16-Oct-18 11:00:06

No it shouldn’t. I’m nearly 69 and don’t feel old and don’t expect to be treated as old. I volunteer at a community centre and most of the staff are young. They treat me the same as everyone else. I go kickboxing and I’m by far the oldest, but I don’t suffer from ageism there either. I go out to the pub and for meals with the other women and I’m definitely one of the girls.

Coconut Tue 16-Oct-18 11:04:01

Personally I have never come across ageism. I just feel we should all address anything that makes us feel upset or uncomfortable as/when .....but I agree with sodapop, don’t we have enough in this world to deal with .....

maddyone Tue 16-Oct-18 11:05:04

No, ageism should not be made a crime. The police should be investigating real crime, not perceived crime.

Margs Tue 16-Oct-18 11:05:50

Undecided about Ageism being classified as a hate crime - but definitely Elder Abuse should be.

The elderly are specifically targeted by Scam Scum cold-calling tradesmen (always men!) with the "we were just in the area doing some work over the way and we happened to notice.....".

Or , putting it bluntly "we're going to intimidate you into parting with money for bugger all, and we're banking on the fact that you're probably losing your marbles anyway. And remember - we know where you live...."

Still, vermin like that will be old one day, won't they?

maddyone Tue 16-Oct-18 11:08:20

I think abuse of any kind is illegal, so is fraud, so we shouldn’t need additional laws to protect people. However, we do need the police to investigate properly the crimes that are being committed.

janeainsworth Tue 16-Oct-18 11:20:47

It isn’t being suggested that ageism itself is a crime.
The Law Commission has been asked to explore the possibility of whether or not crimes that are motivated by ageism should be classified as hate crimes.
So if a young person throws a stone at an old person’s window, at the moment this is an ordinary crime.
But if the young person did it not because they were bored and wanted a bit of a thrill, but because they hated all old people and had targeted that window because they knew an old person lived there, that would be treated as a hate crime.
It is all explained in the link Laura provided.

madmum38 Tue 16-Oct-18 11:24:44

Don’t think need another hate crime. Margs is right about the cold callers but disabled get them as well. Some years ago someone was going to do my garden for me,I wasn’t able to. He emptied my shed and took the metal away then came back and said his machine had been broken and he needed more money which I gave him,he was quite intimidating, he kept wanting more and more but never doing anything,then he started following me as he knew when I went to get my money. He also “borrowed” my daughters bike and another daughters pushchair never to be seen again. In the end I did call the police but was told nothing to do with them,get on to trading standards. Amazes me the so called crimes there are now that get investigated and end up in court

grands Tue 16-Oct-18 11:36:24

Equality and Diversity :- Surely Rspect for ALL ages is necessary. Seems society is well aware that babies and children have needs :- These tend to be addressed, and rightly so.

Yet with advancing age, humans become less independent due to ill health, loss of muscle tone, etc, etc. Surely accepting that whilst allowing individuals to retain Dignity and be dealt with Respect is Important. We need to value our older population. We age chronologically, yet physically, mentally and emotionally not everyone is the same at the same chronological age. Respect Individuals regardless of their Age, allow and encourage each to Reach their Potential, provide Opportunities and Support for All.


mabon1 Tue 16-Oct-18 11:44:53


Fennel Tue 16-Oct-18 12:16:56

jane's comment - the link answered my earlier question.
Here's another aspect:

Jaycee5 Tue 16-Oct-18 12:41:53

It does annoy me with that ageism is the only ism that the Guardian allows with BTL comments (below the line to people who don't like acronyms) but given that the police don't even treat crimes against the disabled as hate crime, I don't think we would have much luck with this.
Ageism definitely exists (just read any thread on Brexit and the number of posters saying that we'll be dead soon so don't matter) but I don't think that elderly people are often physically attacked just for being old in the way that people are for their ethnicity etc. Being scammed is a crime more often aimed at the elderly but I don't think that that is what they mean.
I would like ageism online to be treated more seriously but making it a crime will be ineffective and pointless.

B9exchange Tue 16-Oct-18 12:44:54

My initial reaction was 'not another hate crime' but the problem seems to be that the police will only take seriously abuse of the elderly if it can be linked to a 'hate crime'. You can emotionally abuse an elder citizen, but the police won't take it seriously unless ageism is defined as a hate crime. Problem is with lack of police resources, how sad that someone terrified in their own home or nursing home is deemed not worthy of investigation unless there is an 'ism' to investigate to improve their statistics.

PamelaJ1 Tue 16-Oct-18 12:53:43

I think most of the people who commit crimes aren’t too fussy about who they hurt either physically or mentally.
They take the opportunity where they can.

Growing0ldDisgracefully Tue 16-Oct-18 12:56:40

Not sure. However how would you view this incident:
Some years ago when my Dad was alive, we had all just come back from some visit and Dad, having got out of the car, was crossing the pavement between the car and the front gate. Dad was then a bit shaky on his feet but reasonably mobile. There was a lane coming down the side of the house used by many of the schoolchildren on their way home from school. On this occasion one vile little brat came haring down the lane and nearly collided with Dad. Could have had serious consequences due to Dad's frailty. When remonstrated with, the said vile brat replied "it doesn't matter because he's old and doesn't matter anymore". I think for instances like this, yes, I would have classed that as hate. Had Dad suffered injury or worse, I would have viewed that as needing to be viewed as a hate crime.

In later years, after Dad's death, my Mum was subject (along with other older people in the area), to distraction burglaries, the perpetrators using the older people's diminished physical and mental capacities, as a means of carrying out their vile behaviour. Shouldn't this type of crime also attract stiffer sentences?

Sorry for the long post, but something I feel strongly about.