Are Stalkers Recidivists? Repeated Offending by Convicted Stalkers

Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Violence and Victims (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2011; 26(1):3-15. DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.26.1.3
Source: PubMed


Stalking is an obsessive behavior. Legal definitions generally characterize stalking as repetitive conduct. It may therefore be expected that recidivism by stalkers is high. We investigated court statistics of stalking cases to establish which proportion relapses in stalking behavior after a conviction and what other types of new crimes they commit. Case files of stalking cases have been investigated to find out whether and which neutralization techniques are used by stalkers to justify harassing behaviors. Stalkers who do recidivate do so quickly after a conviction. They appear to make use of various neutralization techniques. There is a small group of highly obsessive stalkers that seems not to be stopped by any of the measures, sanctions, or interventions that are imposed.

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Available from: Jan De Keijser, Oct 22, 2014
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    • "Although there have been few studies of recidivism, strangers and acquaintances appear less likely than ex-intimates to be charged multiple times, both with further stalking against the same victim, and with violent offences (Eke, Hilton, Meloy, Mohandie, & Williams, 2011; Malsch, de Keijser, & Debets, 2011; Mohandie, et al., 2006; Rosenfeld, 2003). Personality disorder – particularly Cluster B type – has been associated with stalking recidivism (Rosenfeld, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Individuals who stalk strangers and acquaintances are under-studied, although there is some evidence suggesting a greater prevalence of psychopathology than is present in those who stalk former partners. This study investigated the nature and prevalence of psychopathology in a sample of stranger and acquaintance stalkers and whether psychopathology was associated with increased duration or serial stalking in this group. It was hypothesised that mental illness, and specifically psychosis, would be more prevalent among strangers and acquaintances than among ex-intimate stalkers. Method: Two hundred and eleven stalkers (10% female; mean age = 35, SD = 10.8; 71 ex-intimates) were recruited between 2002 and 2007 from a specialist service in Melbourne, Australia. Each underwent psychiatric and psychological assessment and disorders were diagnosed according to DMS-IV-TR criteria. Non-parametric independent sample tests were used to examine associations between relationship type and psychopathology, and to identify individual and stalking-related characteristics associated with increased duration and serial stalking. Results: Axis I disorders were significantly more prevalent among strangers and acquaintances than ex-intimates (71% vs 48%, OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.4 to 4.7), as were psychotic disorders (29% vs 9%, OR = 4.4, 95% CI = 1.8 to 10.9). Psychosis was significantly associated with increased duration of stalking behaviour (U = 3043, p < 0.001). Those with a personality disorder were twice as likely to have stalked multiple times (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.2 to 5.0). Conclusions: Those who stalk strangers and acquaintances are often mentally ill and psychopathology is associated with more persistent and recurrent stalking behaviour. Although limited by the use of clinical interview rather than structured assessment, these findings strongly support the argument for routine mental health assessment of stranger and acquaintance stalkers who become involved with the criminal justice system.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 02/2013; 47(6). DOI:10.1177/0004867413479408 · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ze spreken tot de verbeelding, figureren in talloze misdaadfilms en halen in werkelijkheid ook de voorpagina’s: mannen, soms ook vrouwen, die bij herhaling ernstige misdrijven plegen en angst zaaien in de samenleving. Dit boek gaat over serieplegers. Jack the Ripper is waarschijnlijk het bekendste voorbeeld van een seriemoordenaar, maar de geschiedenis kent vele voorbeelden van serieplegers. In dit boek komen vier typen serieplegers aan bod: moordenaars, verkrachters, brandstichters en stalkers. Er wordt ingegaan op hun achtergronden, motieven, modus operandi en slachtoffers. Omdat in Nederland tamelijk weinig onderzoeksmateriaal voorhanden is over serieplegers is de beschrijving van de typen serieplegers voornamelijk gebaseerd op buitenlandse literatuur. Naast de wetenschappelijke kennis over het fenomeen behandelt het boek de Nederlandse praktijk op het gebied van de opsporing van serieplegers. In hoeverre hebben we ermee te maken in Nederland en wat zijn de mogelijkheden en moeilijkheden om serieplegers te identificeren en op te sporen? Het boek is interessant voor de politieopleiding en de recherchepraktijk, maar ook voor onderzoekers en beleidsmakers
    Edited by Anton van Wijk & Ilse van Leiden, 05/2014; Boom.
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    ABSTRACT: In 2012, the United Kingdom actively sought to tackle acts of stalking through amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Now, not only is stalking a recognised criminal offence, acts associated with stalking behaviour have finally been properly defined in legislation. Further, the role of technology in digital stalking offences, frequently termed as acts of cyberstalking, has been duly highlighted. The prosecution of such cyberstalking offences is reliant on the forensic analysis of devices capable of communication with a victim, in order to identify the offender and evidence the offending content for presentation to a court of law. However, with the recent proliferation of anonymous communication services, it is becoming increasingly difficult for digital forensic specialists to analyse and detect the origin of stalking messages, particularly those involving mobile devices. This article identifies the legal factors involved, along with a scenario-based investigation of sample anonymous and spoof SMS (Short Message Service) messages, documenting the evidence that remains on a victim's handset for the purpose of locating an offender, which often may be minimal or non-existent.
    Digital Investigation 06/2015; 13. DOI:10.1016/j.diin.2015.04.001 · 1.65 Impact Factor