Study finds high numbers of killings are mental health related

Mental health problems may more often be a factor in homicides than gang membership, with most killings potentially preventable, a study by the London Violence Research Unit suggests.

Fifty killings were selected from confidential murder case files held by the Metropolitan police.

Ed Bradon, the director of the project, said the work so far suggested most homicides may be preventable: “Every single one of these 50 homicides could have been prevented at some point.”

The key factors for either the victim or killers were mental ill health, a factor in 29 cases; drugs, which were a factor in 26 killings; alcohol, a factor in 16 cases; gangs, a factor in 14 cases; and social media, a factor in 14.

Bradon said: “Mental health appears to be more of a factor than previously realised.”

Some killers had withdrawn from treatment, while others had mental health problems and had never been treated. Mental health, as well as the other key factors, can make the victim more vulnerable to violence, the study says.

Source: Guardian 14 Nov 22

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