False reports of stalking: Motivations and investigative considerations

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Journal Article

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Petherick, W., & Jenkins, A. (2014). False reports of stalking: Motivations and investigative considerations. Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, 1(2), 93-101.

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Copyright © 2014, American Psychological Association

2014 HERDC submission




Stalking is a crime involving repeated and often prolonged harassment of one individual, usually by one other. Despite the prevalence of this interpersonal crime, not all stalking allegations are legitimate, with some being false claims based on a variety of different factors such as false belief, attention or sympathy, and revenge. This study of a sample of false claimants sought to determine whether there are features, such as duration, relationship status and employment among which others could be used to determine the veracity of a stalking complaint. This sample was compared to other like samples and to the common characteristics of legitimate reports in order to determine the degree to which case features could indicate falsity. Findings show that age can be discriminatory depending on the reference sample used, and that false reporters tend to be under or unemployed and report more electronic surveillance among others. Recommendations for future examinations are proposed.

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