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Violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness

  • H. Khalifeh (a1), S. Johnson (a1), L. M. Howard (a2), R. Borschmann (a2), D. Osborn (a1), K. Dean (a3), C. Hart (a4), J. Hogg (a4) and P. Moran (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Little is known about the relative extent of crime against people with severe mental illness (SMI).

Aims

To assess the prevalence and impact of crime among people with SMI compared with the general population.

Method

A total of 361 psychiatric patients were interviewed using the national crime survey questionnaire, and findings compared with those from 3138 general population controls participating in the contemporaneous national crime survey.

Results

Past-year crime was experienced by 40% of patients v. 14% of controls (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.8, 95% CI 2.0–3.8); and violent assaults by 19% of patients v. 3% of controls (adjusted OR = 5.3, 95% CI 3.1–8.8). Women with SMI had four-, ten- and four-fold increases in the odds of experiencing domestic, community and sexual violence, respectively. Victims with SMI were more likely to report psychosocial morbidity following violence than victims from the general population.

Conclusions

People with SMI are at greatly increased risk of crime and associated morbidity. Violence prevention policies should be particularly focused on people with SMI.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Corresponding author
H. Khalifeh, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, Charles Bell House, 67–73 Riding House Street, London W1W 7EJ, UK. Email: h.khalifeh@ucl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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H.K. was supported by and Medical Research Council (MRC) Population Health Sciences Fellowship (reference G0802432/1). P.M., J.H., C.H., R.B. and K.D. were supported by a Big Lottery grant (C247A1198). L.M.H. was supported by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship NIHR-RP-R3-12-011. P.M. and L.M.H. were also supported by the NIHR Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. This study was funded by the MRC and the Big Lottery, the funders had no role in the study design; the collection analysis or interpretation of data; the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. The researchers are independent from the funders and the sponsors.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness

  • H. Khalifeh (a1), S. Johnson (a1), L. M. Howard (a2), R. Borschmann (a2), D. Osborn (a1), K. Dean (a3), C. Hart (a4), J. Hogg (a4) and P. Moran (a4)...
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