At risk, yet dismissed


The mentally ill are far more vulnerable to crime, but are not being protected sufficiently by the police.


Sufferers of mental illness in the UK are three times more likely to be the victims of crime than non-sufferers, often as a result of police negligence, a recent report co-authored at King’s College London has shown.

Written by academics at KCL, Kingston and St. George’s, University of London, with members of University College London collaborating, the ‘At risk yet dismissed’ report has provided shocking insight into how some of society’s most vulnerable members are being failed by those who are supposed to protect them.

Created with the help of the charities Victim Support and Mind, the report claims 45% of sufferers of serious mental illness (SMI) were victims of crime over the past year, with 20% being the victim of violent assault.

SMI sufferers were also revealed as being five times more likely to be a victim of assault and three times more likely to be a victim of household crime than members of the general population, once socio-demographic differences had been taken into account.

Of the female members of those questioned, 40% reported being a victim of rape or attempted rape during adulthood while 10% had been a victim of sexual assault in the past year. Female sufferers of SMI were also found to be ten times more likely to be assaulted than non-sufferers.


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