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Since Canter and Fritzon first introduced their “4D” classification system for arson, many studies have replicated the model with samples of arsonists from around the world. However, scholars have reported differences in the offence actions of arsonists across samples. No study as yet has attempted to statically examine the relevance of these differences. Using multidimensional scaling procedures and two-way chi-square contingency analyses, this study examined whether cross-national differences in arson variables existed between Australian and British arsonists. The results indicated that differences did exist and, furthermore, that differences reflected the environmental characteristics of the country from which each sample was drawn. These findings have important theoretical and clinical implications, particularly for the utility of the “4D” model as an investigatory tool and for the wider arson profiling literature.
This document has been peer reviewed.