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Pensioners turn to crime to ease financial worries

Thousands of pensioners are considering turning to crime to combat financial hardship, according to a report from Prudential.

The company&#39s quarterly survey of people in retirement has found a high number of pensioners admit to contemplating crime to bolster incomes which are often less than £10,000 a year.

Prudential claims that more than 100,000 retired people have committed crime or claim they are tempted to do so. As supporting evidence, it points to Home Office statistics showing that the number of people aged over 65 in UK prisons has risen by 66 per cent since 1997.

Low incomes are also posing potentially fatal health risks to pensioners, according to Prudential, which says 20,000 elderly people died from coldrelated illnesses last year. Despite this, the report found 9 per cent of those surveyed had cut back on heating their homes to save on fuel bills.

Prudential believes the major reasons for pensioners&#39 financial woes are that they are either not aware of all the state benefits to which they are entitled or too proud to claim them.

Director of the customer channel Gary Hitchens says: “Our research paints a potentially gloomy picture for some of the nation&#39s retired people whose financial situation could be improved if they make sure they are receiving all the state benefits they are entitled to.”

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