Hammond, Laura, Ioannou, Maria and Armstrong, Matthew (2014) Characteristics and attributes of adult kidnapping: Differentiating types of offence. In: 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 8th - 13th July 2014, Paris, France. (Unpublished)

Very little empirical research has been conducted into crimes involving the kidnapping of an adult. As a result, our understanding of the different forms that this offence can take, and of the characteristics and attributes associated with each of these different types of kidnapping, remains limited. The present work used published and archival data on fifty adult kidnap offences to examine the core features of this crime (in terms of offender, victim and crime characteristics), using content analysis methods and multi-dimensional scaling techniques. Two key forms of offence were identified, which can broadly be recognised as expressive and instrumental in nature and purpose. In expressive offences revenge or retaliation is often cited as a motive, and victims are often physically or sexually abused. Instrumental offences appear to be conducted for financial or political gain, and offender actions tend to centre around the optimisation of event outcome and the minimisation of victim suffering. Victim and offender characteristics and backgrounds associated with each, as well as likely outcome, are determined and the potential uses and value of these findings for the investigation and management of kidnapping offences are addressed.

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