Preliminary insights and analysis into weapon enabled sexual offenders

Paul Dawson, Alasdair M. Goodwill, Louise Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


– Weapon use is recognised as a key crime concern in England and Wales but has received relatively little focused research. The purpose of this paper is to examine weapon use by sexual offenders to develop new insights relevant for a police audience. Specifically, to examine the prevalence of weapons within sexual offenders and explore the differences between weapon and non-weapon enabled offenders on a range of characteristics.

– A sample of 1,618 single, stranger, solved, serious sexual assaults were provided by the Serious Crime Analysis Section of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. In all, 20 per cent of offenders were weapon enabled.

– There were almost no demographic differences between weapon enabled and non-weapon enabled offenders. In terms of the offence itself, there were many significant differences between the groups in terms of precautions used, victim involvement, injury, attack behaviours, victim approach and attack location. Further multivariate analysis revealed aspects of the offence that were associated with weapon use; these are broadly discussed within themes of violence and evidence of planning.

– The authors argue that an examination of weapon use is valuable in illustrating how offenders differ in their offence and provide insights for the investigation of such crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of aggression, conflict and peace research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2014


  • Violence
  • police
  • weapons
  • offender profiling
  • sexual offences
  • Sexual offenders


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