A new law comes into force on Monday that could see people who deliberately cause or allow serious physical harm to vulnerable adults or children jailed for 10 years.
The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012 will also allow people who fail to report abuse to be prosecuted.
Commenting on the development – which affects Wales and England, Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing and Programme Development Victoria Lloyd says:
“We welcome the news that laws to protect the vulnerable from abuse are to be tightened.
“Age Cymru has undertaken lengthy and detailed research into elder abuse – its causes and what can be done to prevent it, over several years.
“We spoke to a range of experts from many different backgrounds - from including the police, social services and adult protection law.
“While there was a consensus that there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to eradicating abuse, it was widely agreed that the legal system does have a significant role to play in achieving this goal.
“As such, Age Cymru welcomes the introduction of stronger sanctions that the courts can impose on those who knowingly allow abuse or remain silent about it.
“We hope this new law – in conjunction with the legislation we want introduced as part of our Rule Out Abuse campaign, will act as a deterrent to abusers and those who would turn a blind eye to abuse, and ultimately lead to better protection for adults and children from abuse.”