Self-selection policing and animal cruelty
: Investigating animal cruelty as an indicator of more serious and active criminality

  • Renee Farquharson

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Self-selection policing involves using the more minor crimes individuals commit to identify active, serious offenders. The present study aimed to investigate animal cruelty as a potential crime to be used for this purpose. To be effective, this required offenders to be versatile and commit both minor and serious offences, as well as being active around the time the animal cruelty offence was committed. Fifty-three criminal records of animal cruelty offenders were acquired from a police force, and types of additional offences and temporal differences between offences were analysed. It was found that overall, criminals were more versatile than specialised in all instances and a large proportion of offenders were found to be active in their offending. Specific sub-groups were also analysed, including older offenders and frequent offenders, in order to gain further insight into their criminality and the potential value of animal cruelty as an SSP trigger. As a result of this research it is suggested that animal cruelty offences should be more closely monitored, as there is potential for identifying more serious active offenders. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJason Roach (Main Supervisor) & Melanie Flynn (Co-Supervisor)

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