Friday, November 16 2018
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Compulsive shoplifting

Compulsive shoplifting

Shoplifting in Britain costs more than £300m a year, according to the British Retail Consortium, with the value of goods stolen from British shops having risen to its highest level in a decade. For some people, shoplifting is a compulsive habit. A lead counsellor at Addictions UK believes this pathological need to shoplift is far more common than people realise. "It is a genuine addiction that stems from the same issue as a gambling or drinking addiction. These people shoplift because they feel compelled to act by their subconscious, rather than for financial gain. They experience an emotional urge to experience the rush of adrenaline - and consequently dopamine - they receive from shoplifting, and the only way to suppress that is by giving in. From an addict's point of view, this rush mitigates all thought of those they are affecting."

Faking mental illness

Faking mental illness

In his tribunal Moors murderer Ian Brady claims he used method acting techniques to fool doctors and psychologists into diagnosing him with paranoid schizophrenia. How easy is it to fake mental illness and get away with it? Although the methods used are not infallible, experts have devised a series of increasingly sophisticated tests to spot false claims. The most common giveaway is for fakers to overstate their symptoms, creating an unrealistic picture of their supposed illness.

Stabbing: a moment of madness

Stabbing: a moment of madness

In 1999 Sean Clifton stabbed 22-year-old Julie Bouvier after voices in his head told him to seek out the 'prettiest girl in the mall' and go and stab her. He stabbed her six times. Earlier that day he had been to the local psychiatric hospital asking for help as he could feel he was losing his grip on reality.

Is evil in our genes?

Is evil in our genes?

On December 14 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and shot 20 children and six adults dead, before turning the gun on himself. Already that day, he’d killed his mother with her shotgun. Geneticists at the University of Connecticut are analysing Lanza’s DNA. Could it be that one or more genes can make people evil?

Rehabilitating stalkers

Rehabilitating stalkers

The National Stalking Clinic based at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, north London, offers stalkers an alternative to prison terms. The treatment takes the form of joint psychiatric and psychological assessment. Stalkers can be divided into five broad categories: the rejected stalker, who has had a relationship with the victim and often seeks revenge, the intimate stalker who often becomes deluded that the object of their attentions is a willing romantic partner, the incompetent stalker who usually has underlying learning disabilities or mental-health issues, the resentful stalker who does it to frighten and distress and finally, the predatory stalker who is preparing a sexual attack.

Mr Men personalities
  •  21 01 2013
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Paedophilia - causes and consequences

Paedophilia - causes and consequences

The Jimmy Savile scandal caused public revulsion, but experts disagree about what causes paedophilia - and even how much harm it causes.

The legacy of Operation Ore

The legacy of Operation Ore

A review of the UK's biggest ever computer crime investigation. Thousands of people were accused of downloading images of child abuse. The legacy is controversial.

Stalking becomes a specific criminal offence

Stalking has become a specific criminal offence in England and Wales in a move to improve victims' safety. The government has introduced two offences, stalking and stalking involving a fear of violence. A parliamentary inquiry earlier this year found that about 120,000 victims, mostly women, were stalked every year. However only 53,000 incidents are recorded as crimes by police - and only one in 50 of these reports leads to an offender being jailed.