In Depth

Brighton cat stabbings: what we know

At least three pets have been killed and four others injured in the Sussex city since September

Police in Sussex are investigating possible links between at least seven suspected attacks on cats within a small area of Brighton over the past two months. 

All of the incidents have occurred in the Ditchling Rise district since mid-September and two have been confirmed as “highly likely” to be stabbing. Three of the cats have died from their injuries, reports The Independent.

Pet owner Seanin Mouland told The Times that her cat, Samson, needed two emergency operations after being slashed across the stomach.

“Somebody with a knife went out of their way to try and kill our defenceless cat,” she said.

PC Andy Chapman, from Sussex Police, said investigators were “taking these incidents very seriously”.

He continued: “We understand the impact and emotional distress caused to the owners of much loved pets and we are determined to put an end to these attacks.

“However, we do need help from the public. I urge anyone with information or who believes that their pet has been the victim of a deliberate, malicious attack to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Diverge.”

In September, the Metropolitan Police announced it was closing its three-year investigation into 400 reports of cat deaths attributed to the so-called Croydon cat killer.

Investigators concluded that the deaths were actually likely to have been caused by foxes and vehicle collisions. But many people still believe a human was to blame.

Tony Jenkins, of animal charity South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty, told The Guardian: “Without a shadow of doubt, there is a pattern of behaviour around the killings. Police have resource issues with funding cuts and couldn’t afford to investigate further and they took the easy route to blame foxes. There is clear evidence to suggest human interaction and we are continuing to investigate.”

However, Jenkins does not believe the Brighton attacks are linked to the other slayings, explaining: “We think it’s a separate perpetrator because there are stab wounds and the injuries are different - there are not decapitations as seen in the other cases.”

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