Deliberate firesetting: exploring crime scene behaviours and developing firesetter types

Parker, Vicki J. (2020). Deliberate firesetting: exploring crime scene behaviours and developing firesetter types. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis explores the firesetting crime scene behaviours and typologies of deliberate firesetters. Chapter one introduces the topic of deliberate firesetting and provides a brief overview of existing research in this area. It reflects on the potential for devastating consequences of firesetting behaviour and puts forward the earliest and current theories that attempt to explain firesetting behaviour. Chapter two contains a systematic literature review that examines six firesetter typologies and concentrates on the variables (e.g., location of fire, motivation, season etc.) used to develop typologies, as well as the firesetting populations identified and selected for inclusion in the studies. Chapter three comprises an original piece of research that aims to understand firesetting behaviours, incorporating both apprehended and un–apprehended firesetters. This is done by using Multi–Dimensional Scaling (MDS) on a sample of 9,541 deliberately set fires in West Midlands between 2016 and 2018. This research identified three firesetter types, which is partly consistent with types identified in previous typology research, but indicates that further exploration of firesetter types, including both apprehended and un–apprehended, firesetters is needed. Chapter four is the first critique of a relatively new scale, the Fire Proclivities Scale (FPS), and examines the scale’s capacity to identify un–apprehended firesetters in the community. This is a promising scale, with good validity and reliability, and shows potential in its capacity to further our insight into the different traits and behaviours linked to un–apprehended firesetters. Finally, Chapter five considers the underpinning conclusions to be drawn from across the previous Chapters and considers at the theoretical and practical implications of this thesis.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable


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