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:
  1. Persistence: the risk that the intrusive behaviours will continue, unless there is some form of intervention.
  2. Escalation: the risk that the behaviours will become more intrusive or dangerous.
  3. Disruption: the risk that the behaviours will disrupt a person’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.