A CHARITY has urged the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to allow tougher sentences for crimes against older people.

Action on Elder Abuse Scotland wants the abuse of vulnerable people to be made a statutory aggravating offence in law, estimating that about 100,000 older people in Scotland suffer some form of abuse each year.

The charity said a recent review of hate crime laws in Scotland, carried out by Lord Bracadale, had paved the way for the change.

The review’s recommendations called on ministers to consider a general aggravation covering exploitation and vulnerability.

Lord Bracadale also concluded there should be a new statutory aggravation based on “age hostility”.

The charity, which held its annual conference in Glasgow recently, said Scotland had the opportunity to lead the UK on the issue, and urged Christina McKelvie, minister for older people and equalities, to act.