Sex offences perpetrated against the elderly: Thematic analysis of a contemporary UK sample

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Liverpool

In Collaboration With

National Crime Agency (NCA); Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS)

Principal Researcher

Dr Louise Almond

Level of Research


Project Start Date

March 2018

Research Context

To thematically explore the offence behaviours and background characteristics of offenders who commit sexual offences against female elderly victims, using a contemporary UK sample.


  • To explore the nature of sexual offending against elderly victims by thematically modelling offence behaviours including consideration of victim targeting, without using existing typologies
  • To map offender background characteristics to any identified themes and asses the predictive value of crime scene behaviours for offender background characteristics
  • To interpret and present findings for use in contemporary investigative practise.

Research Methodology

The research will use secondary data from all cases of sexual offences involving an elderly victim included on the ViCLAS database.

Selection Criteria
The proposed selection criteria will be as follows:

  • Offence must be classified as a sexual offence, rape or attempted rape
  • Variables must have been collected using evidence-based practise
  • Victims of offence should be aged 60 years or over
  • Victims of offence should be female 
  • Offences must have occurred between 2003 and 2017
  •  Data must be taken from cases involving single offenders
  • Data must be taken from solved and unsolved cases

Perpetrator, victim and offence behaviours will be coded.

Frequency data for all variables will be examined; this will allow base rates to be identified and comparisons to be made with previous research on non-elderly sexual offences. Data will then be analysed using Smallest Space Analysis

Interim reports and publications

‚ÄčNot available

Date due for completion

March 2019
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