European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 279–291 | Cite as

Violent Stalkers. Detecting Risk Factors by the Police

  • Anne Groenen
  • Geert Vervaeke


In the experience of stalking victims a common element is the fear of physical violence. Until now risk factors that predict physical violence within stalking contexts have been carried out in relatively small, clinical-forensic samples. Consequently, the validity and practical utility of these risk factors in the law enforcement context remains unknown. Furthermore some risk factors have been identified in this research on the basis of information that is not available for or difficult to detect by the police in an early stage of the law enforcement process. The identification of risk factors of physical violence in stalking incidents in an early stage by the police was the subject of the presented study. Risk factors are identified based on literature, content analysis of police records and by testing interaction terms. Therefore 204 judicial files were analyzed, resulting in a five factor model predicting physical violence. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Detection Police Risk factors Stalking Violence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KHK Geel, Department of Social WorkLeuvens Institute of CriminologyLeuvenBelgië
  2. 2.High Council of JusticeLeuvens Institute of CriminologyLeuvenBelgië
  3. 3.LINCLeuvenBelgië

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