Understanding the variation in offender behaviour and risk factors in cases of homicide perpetrated against the UK homeless population between the years 2000 and 2022

Ellie Ross , John Synnott, Maria Ioannou, Sally-Ann Ashton, Abdulmenam Tunsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The homeless population remains understudied, and their victimisation is unreported, especially homeless victims of homicide. With the number of people faced with homelessness increasing, the heightened rates of victimisation for violent crimes throughout this population becomes even more concerning. A review of the literature revealed an absence of meaningful research beyond basic descriptive statistics of rates of homeless homicide in the UK. The current study explores the behavioural variation and risk factors associated with the victims and perpetrators of 19 cases of homeless homicide in the UK. A content analysis was first conducted to derive 22 case variables. Smallest Space Analysis was then employed to analyse the cases according to the variables selected. The themes produced in the SSA output were comparable to that of Canter's Victim Role Model: Victim as Object, Victim as Person and Victim as Vehicle. The current study lays a foundation for developing an understanding of the variation in behaviour across cases of homeless homicide and may serve to inform preventative measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1627
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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