A man has been arrested in connection with the death of 25 cats after an investigation spanning 18 months.
Sussex police arrested a 52-year-old man on Sunday (June 2) after being called out to investigate a cat which had been injured near Trafalgar Street, Brighton, on Saturday evening. The cat sustained serious wounds, and has since died.
Authorities watched CCTV footage and arrested the local man on suspicion of criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
We've made a significant breakthrough & arrested a local man connected to deaths of cats in Brighton. @BtonHovePolice have been working hard on this investigation for a long time and are continuing to do so. Read more https://t.co/G8pR3iPXXJ pic.twitter.com/If7mEN6iU1
— Sussex Police (@sussex_police) June 6, 2019
Speaking of the case, leading officer Detective Inspector Chris Thompson explained:
We were made aware of a cat death and officers conducted a quick-time investigation to establish the circumstances.
The arrested man has been released on police bail while enquiries are continuing.
Police are looking for a witness to the crime who is described as a white man around 5’ 8”, in his 20s or 30s, of medium build with long dark wavy hair, who was wearing sunglasses at the time.
The witness is believed to be vital to the investigation.
We believe he may have stroked the cat before it was injured around 7.50pm on Saturday, June 1. If this is you please make contact with us.
Detectives have been investigating a number of cases over the last few months in which multiple cats have been injured or killed.
The South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty group (SNARL) has been recording and investigating the attacks in the area to raise awareness of the threat of whoever is responsible. They have nicknamed them the ‘Brighton Cat Killer’.
According to The Argus, a spokesperson said there had been more than 24 confirmed cat deaths in the city attributed to the killer. They warned cat owners in the BN1 3, BN1 4 and BN1 6 areas to ‘be aware, vigilant and keep their cats in as much as they can’.
DI Thompson insisted the authorities are doing what they can to get to the bottom of the numerous cases, adding:
We understand how distressing the deaths of these cats have been to both owners and organisations concerned with animal welfare and we are determined to establish what has happened to them in order to get answers for owners.
Police resources have been used in the wider investigation in an attempt to establish exactly what has happened to these cats and we are working in partnership with an expert from the Royal Veterinary College to establish the cause of the deaths.
There has been way to many cat mutilations in Brighton. We need to find the person doing this and put an end to these senseless killings#UK #AnimalCruelty #Sign & #Share#Petitionhttps://t.co/UU0hXdEbAq
— So-Star (@SoStarMusic) June 5, 2019
Police have increased patrols around the areas, as well as performing house to house enquiries, viewing CCTV, and taking statements from the owners.
They are appealing for anyone with information to contact Sussex Police either online or by calling 101 and quoting Operation Diverge.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.