Investigating The Investigation Of Arson

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According to Dehaan and Icove (2011), the investigation of arson can be particularly challenging due to complicated factors associated with the crime scene such as; destruction of physical evidence and lack of eyewitnesses. Despite copious amounts of research examining the characteristics of arsonists leading to the development of treatment programmes; little research contributes to the understanding of patterns of behaviours in relation to arsonists characteristics. In order to deduce offender characteristics from crime scene actions, motivational typologies are usually employed as a result of this relationship. However, it must be highlighted that ‘motives’ are often an unreliable information source due to offenders ambiguously reporting their supposed motives.
Seemingly, Lewis and Yarnell (1951) are accredited with being the first researchers to provide some type of classification system for a group of fire starters, however only in relation to offenders with diminished mental capacity. Lewis and Yarnell (1951) classified four categories of offenders that started fires, with the exclusion of those who set fires for profit; unintentionally, as a result of delusions, for erotic pleasures and to obtain revenge. A further category for ‘child’ fire setters was later hypothesized, stating that they start fires out of excitement.
Inciardi (1970) developed six motives for arson; revenge, insurance claim, excitement (pyromania), instintusionalised (arson in a mental health

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