Cooma residents get a lesson on the law

THIS week local residents had the chance to participate in free information sessions as part of Law Week 2014.

As most people will come into contact with the legal system at some stage of their lives and National Law Week gives people the opportunity to gain knowledge of certain aspects of the law.

Elder abuse and community safety were the topics dicussed in Cooma during Law Week this week.

The HUB and the Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre were host to the Elder Abuse information sessions on Wednesday, which provided practical information, advice and referrals to help prevent abuse of older people.

A wide range of social workers attended the event to listen to guest speaker Therese Findlay, NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit (EAHRU) Coordinator, discuss the different forms of elder abuse.

Financial abuse has become the most common type of elder abuse that has been reported to EAHRU, with reports of physical and psychological abuse also happening in NSW.

Former Minister for Ageing Andrew Constance explained that the establishment of the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline in 2013 was to provide an outlet for those who suffer in silence.

"According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, as many as 50,000 people aged 65 and over in NSW have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, whether it be physical, psychological or financial," Mr Constance said.

The NSW Elder Abuse Helpline has received over 1,500 calls since it went live in February 2013.

Cooma Library also became host to another type of information session on Tuesday.

NSW Police's Senior Crime Prevention Officer of Monaro, Senior Constable Naomi Nemec, discussed strategies used in the region to prevent crime and keep the community safe. She also explained in detail the structure of local police stations and the general duties of the stations.

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