What can be done to stop the Croydon cat killer?

By - Monday 1st February, 2016

The Croydon cat killer is still at large. Let’s help stop him, says Max Shirley

We all love our animals. According to the Pet Food Manufacturing Association (PFMA), in 2014 – 2015 17% of households had at least one pet cat. Personally, I’ve had a few cats throughout my lifetime and currently have two curled up in a ball asleep. I would hate for anything cruel to happen to my tabby chums.

But a serial attacker is at large. In the past two years he appears to have killed and or assaulted thirty-two cats in the Croydon area. This criminal has not stopped and even goes as far as dismemberment and and decapitation.

South London’s cats need to be protected

The most publicised of the attacks occurred a couple of months ago where two cats were found butchered near homes in Shirley and Thornton Heath. One of these poor animals belonged to Wayne Bryant from Shirley, who found his cat, eight-year-old Amber, dead in Threehalfpenny Woods. Her head and tail had been removed from her body and were never found.

In mid-January the offender struck again. Five-year-old Louie returned to his home, in Chaucer Gardens, late at night with a large cut on his nose, and his front leg left hanging by the skin. He had to be put down a few days later due to infection.

On 8th October 2015 the South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) raised an alert calling for all owners to keep their cats indoors and safe and to be on the look-out, describing the perpetrator as a ‘sick individual’. They have also backed the signing of a petition, pleading for detectives to raise their game and find the person responsible. The petition has over 40,000 signatures and requires around 5,000 more for a response from Andy Tarrant, Croydon’s borough commander.

The petition, set up by Georgina B, states: “The cats of South London need to be protected. Will you join me in urging the South London police to take urgent action to stop this cat killer and that any suspects proven guilty after the appropriate judicial processes are prosecuted to the full extent of the law?”

Animal abusers are a danger to everyone

The Croydon attacks have now made their way into mass media, with articles published in the Sun, Metro and Evening Standard. Now celebrities have taken it upon themselves to join the hunt, with X-Factor hosts Dermot O’Leary and Caroline Flack re-tweeting PETA’s reward for the bringing to justice of the person responsible to their millions of followers on social media.

The Metropolitan and Surrey Police are both investigating the matter and it is reported that new DNA evidence has recently been detected. Sergeant Ross Spanton, of Surrey Police, described these atrocities as “disgusting and horrifying… understandably leaving [owners] extremely distressed”.

In December 2015 PETA raised its origin reward of £2,000 for any information aiding the capture of the killer to £5,000. Elisa Allen, associate director at PETA, stated that the perpetrator of these “sadistic and violent acts” must be caught for the safety of us all. In an interview with the Croydon Advertiser she stated: “Animal abusers are a danger to everyone – they take their issues out on whoever is available to them, human or non-human, and must be caught before they act again”.

In the Sun‘s article Dr. Adam Lynes, from Birmingham City University, stated that the nature of the killings indicates “enjoyment of the cruelty and pain caused during the deaths”. He added that: “Some serial murderers are like addicts. They are hooked on killing and can’t get enough”. The killer seems to have widened his area of operations: two cats and a fox were found injured in Crystal Palace only last week in attacks that are thought to be related.

Over the last year the RSPCA has reported that animal cruelty has been on the rise. In 2015 159,831 cases were investigated by officers, compared to the 153,770 in 2013. Despite this increase, arrests of abusers have gone down to 1,029 in 2015, compared to 1,371 in 2013.

This is a shocking and disturbing matter. If you find any injured animal in your area, it should be immediately reported to the police or to the RSPCA’s 24-hour-hotline, 0300 1234 999, to help aid their investigation.

Max Shirley

Max Shirley

Max recently finished Sixth Form at a local independent school and will be starting an English Literature degree in the new academic year. Max is a copy-editor at a Croydon-based start-up. Twitter: @max_shirley_

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  • PolarDog

    Sadly, with hundreds of streets and dozens of square miles, if the perpetrator is caught then it will be more by luck than planning.