A high school has been receiving threatening communications through emails and social media for a while which seem to be escalating. The high school has been reporting the threats to the authorities, who are monitoring the communications for risk of escalation. So far, the threatener has been able to remain anonymous. However, considering the content of the communications provided, they’re now considering either a staff member, a student or someone with knowledge of the institution to be the threat-actor.
Signpost Six is asked to assist and provides support to the school from a behavioural threat assessment perspective. Signpost Six sets up and assists a Threat Assessment Team of the school using a structured approach to behavioural threat assessment. The following key areas and questions are an integral part of these type of assessments:
- Any noted patterns of escalation
- Intensity of effort and focus observed in a pattern of communications
- Potential leakage with harmful intent
- Evidence of a personalised motive by the threatener
- Expressed intention to approach
- Justifications for violence or other malicious act
An overall assessment will also provide the basis for management advice on the next steps.
Signpost Six can provide technical support to identify the author of the threatening communications, but can also conduct a psycholinguistic analysis of the data to extract hypotheses regarding the identity and personal characteristics of the author narrowing down the potential number of authors of the communications.
Finally, Signpost Six can support the follow-up and management process with the identified individual with the aim to resolve the grievance or issue for both parties.