What are our main findings?
- The main risks to elected politicians in western countries come not from terrorist or criminal groups, but from fixated loners.
- The majority of fixated loners are mentally ill.
- The risks posed by an individual depends upon their underlying motivation and symptomatology.
- Different sorts of risk are associated with different risk factors (and motivations).
- Those fixated on a personal cause or quest for justice are of particular concern.
- Other than violence (which is rare), risks which need to be assessed comprise:
- Persistence: the risk that the intrusive behaviours will continue, unless there is some form of intervention.
- Escalation: the risk that the behaviours will become more intrusive or dangerous.
- Disruption: the risk that the behaviours will disrupt a personâ€™s ability to go about their normal lives and duties, or disrupt public events.
- Attention to inappropriate communications and approaches to public figures is a way of identifying seriously ill people who have fallen through the care net.
- Treatment of the mental illness would both benefit the individual concerned and reduce any threat that they might constitute.