A Multidimensional Scalogram Analysis of UK Acid Attacks: Exploring the differences and similarities in offending characteristics

Chloe Mann, Dara Mojtahedi, Chelsea Leadley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reports of acid attacks within the UK are rising. The motivations behind these offences are predominantly related to gang violence and acts of revenge. However, the current literature around acid attacks has largely focused on the victim perspective, with little research around offenders and their actions. The present study aimed to determine whether cases of acid attacks within the UK could be differentiated based on the offence characteristics and motivations. The study used a multidimensional scalogram analysis (MSA) to examine the similarities and differences between the behaviours that were acted out during the 30 cases. Results found a clear division amongst acid attack offenders through multiple variables, mainly pertaining through whether the attack was predicated and the motivation. This was found to be comparable with instrumental and expressive actions. The findings have potential to contribute to psychological theory to categorise and define acid attack offences. This would also greatly assist in suspect prioritisation and other aspects of police investigations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSafer Communities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 May 2020


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