THE number of Wigan pensioners who have turned to crime has almost doubled over the last year.
New figures reveal a shock rise in people aged 65 and over who have been arrested, with 43 detained in 2013/14, compared with 23 in 2012/13.
The latter figure had remained constant, between 2012/13 and 2010/11, rising only to 24 in 2011/12.
Of the 43 OAP crooks, 26 were aged between 65 and 69, 14 were from the age of 70 to 79 and three were aged over 80.
Two of the offences were for raping a girl under 16, with one of those cases being dropped with no further action.
There was also a charge of rape and another of sexual
assault - both on a girl under 13,
Three pensioners were brought before the courts for a sexual assault on a female and there was one arrest for raping a woman over the age of 16, but no further action was taken.
A total of 14 assaults were allegedly carried out by men and women aged over 65, with nine resulting in no charges.
There were 13 drink driving offences, which included five OAPs being brought before the courts.
Also among the arrests include one wounding with intent, which went no further; one charge of indecent exposure; three harassments; one failure to comply with a requirement of the Money Laundering Regulations and one act of criminal damage.
Examples of pensioners brought before the courts over the last 12 months include John Battersby, 84, of First Avenue, Hindley, who was given a 12-month community order and ordered to pay costs of £125 and a £60 victim surcharge back in September last year for assaulting his wife.
John Richard Ferrier, 69, of Ormskirk Road, Wigan, was charged with rape of an 11-year-old boy and possession of a bladed article earlier this year.
He is due to appear at Manchester City Crown Court on August 8 for a plea in case management hearing and his trial is scheduled for November 17.
Joseph Chisnall, 79, of Dryden Avenue, Ashton, was jailed for 15 months in April for indecent assault on a young boy and girl.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police could not comment on why there was such a big hike in offenders over the age of 65, only stating that figures do fluctuate from year to year.
Chief Insp Stuart Wrudd of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “We investigate thoroughly all reports of crime, regardless of the offender’s age, and urge victims to always report crimes on 101 or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress.”