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Dr Chris Nicholson from the University of Essex says that recent attacks on horses are likely to to be by someone feeling out of control
As police continue to investigate a callous and rare crime in the district, an expert in psychology has warned that the problem could escalate.
Nine horses have been found with long, deep slash marks, after spending the night in fields off of Woodredon Lane, Waltham Abbey.
Dr Chris Nicholson, lecturer at the centre for psychoanalytic studies at the University of Essex, says this type of crime is usually born out of jealousy.
He said: “From what I have heard, this is not somebody who has done this for bravado. There is something very hateful about the way that the horses have been slashed.
“This is probably someone who is feeling very out of control. By harming and scarring the animals, they will feel as though they are less likely to be a victim.
“Children hurting animals can often escalate to hurting human beings."
Although, this could well be an adult with a grievance.
“There is something very interesting about the fact that they are harming horses, when you think about the beauty of a horse.
“This person is likely to feel damaged themselves, and is putting these experiences into something else.”
Dr Nicholson, who has a lot of experience working with children who have harmed animals, says that it is important for the police to find the attacker, especially now that one horse was attacked during the day.
He said: “A lot of crime has to do with opportunity and an unreal sense that there are no boundaries. Then crimes do escalate.
“Like with sex offenders, it starts off with flashing or something similar, and then escalates.”
Anyone with any information about the attacks is urged to call the police on 101.
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