The characteristics of un-apprehended firesetters living in the UK community

Journal article


Barrowcliffe, E. and Gannon, T.A. 2015. The characteristics of un-apprehended firesetters living in the UK community. Psychology, Crime & Law. 21 (9), pp. 836-853.
AuthorsBarrowcliffe, E. and Gannon, T.A.
Abstract

The prevalence and characteristics of un-apprehended, self-reported deliberate firesetters living in the community were examined. Ten percent of Thanet households in Kent, UK (n = 5568) were randomly invited to participate in an online study investigating deliberate firesetting. Participants answered demographic questions, questions relating to any deliberate fires ignited and five questionnaires: The Fire Setting and Fire Proclivity Scales [Gannon & Barrowcliffe (2012). Firesetting in the general population: The development and validation of the Fire Setting and Fire Proclivity Scales. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 17(1), 105–122], The BIDR [version 6; Paulhus (1984). Two-component models of socially desirable responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 598–609; Paulhus (1988). Assessing self-deception and impression management in self reports: The balanced inventory of desirable responding. Unpublished manual, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada], The Identification with Fire Scale [Gannon, Ó Ciardha, & Barnoux (2011). The identification with fire questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript. CORE-FP, School of Psychology, University of Kent, UK] and The Fire Attitude Scale [Muckley (1997). Firesetting: Addressing offending behaviour. A resource and training manual. Redcar and Cleveland Psychological Service]. A question relating to deliberate firesetting was answered by 157 participants. Eighteen (11.5%) participants were classified as deliberate firesetters. Firesetters and non-firesetters were similar, but significantly more firesetters self-reported a history of self-harm, having a family member who ignited a deliberate fire, and a father with a psychiatric illness. Interestingly, significantly more non-firesetters reported experimenting with fire before the age of 10 compared to the firesetters. Firesetters also scored significantly higher compared to the non-firesetters on The Fire Setting Scale, The Fire Proclivity Scale, The Identification with Fire Scale and The Fire Attitude Scale. This new information shows promise in identifying community individuals who may require education or preventative work.

KeywordsArson; Firesetter; Deliberate firesetting; Fire interest; Un-apprehended; United Kingdom; Thanet
Year2015
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Journal citation21 (9), pp. 836-853
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN1068-316X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/1068316X.2015.1054385
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2015.1054385
Publication dates
Print14 Aug 2015
Publication process dates
Accepted26 May 2015
Deposited03 Jun 2020
Accepted author manuscript
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