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Kidnapping offenders: their risk of escalation to repeat offending and other serious crime.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number2
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)164 - 179
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Kidnapping is a rare offence and is also rarely considered by researchers. We extracted from the England and Wales Offenders Index all 7362 offenders (93% males and 7% females) convicted of kidnapping from 1979 to 2001. We examined the time from first conviction for kidnapping to some specific subsequent serious crimes: subsequent kidnap, murder, manslaughter, or rape of a female. Two survival analysis procedures were used: Kaplan-Meier estimation as a nonparametric procedure, and the Cox proportional hazards model as a semi-parametric model. Kidnappers are more likely to be convicted of another kidnapping offence than be convicted of the more serious offences of rape of a female or homicide. One can estimate that five out of every 100 kidnapping offenders convicted of first-time kidnapping will be reconvicted for this offence within 20 years. In contrast, one in every 100 kidnapping offenders will be convicted of homicide within 20 years, and close to two out of every 100 will be convicted of rape of a female within 20 years. Number of previous convictions is a significant risk factor for each of these serious reconvictions, with age at first kidnapping also a significant risk factor for kidnapping reconviction. Kidnappers are over 30 times more likely than males in the general population to be convicted of homicide and four times more likely than sex offenders. There should be, therefore, more focus on kidnappers as a potentially dangerous set of offenders.