Martin Clunes has joined forces with animal rights group PETA to urge the police to step up action to catch a person who has been grotesquely killing cats in south London.
The so-called Cat Ripper of Croydon has dismembered around 35 cats in the London borough over the past two years.
The Doc Martin star wrote to the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: "As someone who shares my home with several four-legged companions, I read with horror that some of the cats had been decapitated or dismembered – this is the stuff of nightmares... The local community is understandably distraught and frightened. No one feels safe while this sick individual is on the loose."
Martin went to school in Croydon and recently played Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Arthur & George, an ITV series about a supposed horse mutilator.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that 'animals are not ours to abuse in any way' – has offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
Martin Clunes' full letter:
Dear Sir Hogan-Howe,
Like countless others, I am shocked that at least 35 cats are thought to have been massacred around the borough of Croydon. As someone who knows the area well and shares a home with many four-legged companions, I read with horror that some of the cats had been decapitated and dismembered – this is the stuff of nightmares. The local community is understandably distraught and frightened. No one feels safe while this sick individual is on the loose.
As you likely know, mental-health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider animal abuse to be a red flag. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation use reports of animal abuse to analyse the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behaviour – not the species of the victim – that matters.
Acts of cruelty to animals are not mere indications of a minor personality flaw – they are symptomatic of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals don't stop there many of them move on to their fellow humans. That is a scar thought indeed.
Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the malicious nature of these crimes, I implore you to take every measure necessary, including re-examining all available CCTV footage, to apprehend this dangerous criminal. The safety of the entire community depends on it.
Thanks for your consideration. I can be reached via PETA’s Kate Smith at KateSmith@peta.org.uk.
Martin Clunes, on behalf of PETA
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