Friday, May 23, 2014


   The last time I met up with the attractive and super-intelligent criminal behavioural analyst Laura Richards  was when she was in Santa Monica six years ago and on loan to the FBI from New Scotland Yard as a serial killer profiler. We had drinks at Ye Olde King’s Head and then took in a party for The Simpsons movie in a giant hangar at Santa Monica airport.
   Now she is back briefly, this time to recharge her batteries after a hectic year in which she launched Paladin, the U.K.’s new National Stalking Advocacy Service, and to discuss a new TV show. She is also using the time to update her book, Policing Domestic Violence, and she has another book, on serial killer Levi Bellfield, coming out in January next year
   Again, we had drinks in Ye Olde King’s Head and she came to the house for dinner before she headed up to Santa Barbara for more R and R before appearing on the TV show Crime Time.
   Laura is quite a woman: A recognised expert on stalking and violence, she has reviewed and analysed hundreds of murders and violent crimes and is no stranger to television, having previously been the featured profiler on the show Killer Profile, and appeared in the documentaries Countdown to Murder and Revealed, in which she profiled Jack the Ripper. She is currently campaigning to change the law in the UK to criminalise domestic violence in the same way she has already, through Paladin, been instrumental in changing the law on stalking.
   Laura left New Scotland Yard in 2007 after a decade working on violent crime and setting up the first Homicide Prevention Unit in the UK as well as the Yard’s Violent Crime Intelligence Unit. Four years ago she coordinated the U.K’s first National Stalking Awareness Week and was involved in setting up the U.K.’s first National Stalking Helpline. She is currently working on the Crime Time TV show in the U.S. with former FBI profiler Jim Clemente, who wrote and produced many episodes of Criminal Minds.  
    “If it works out it will be very exciting,” she tells me. “I’ve been working 15 hours a day in the U.K. with Paladin so this is a change of pace for me.”
    With her background and knowledge Laura has many options open to her but there is one she is considering which has nothing to do with crime----she is being urged from several quarters to run for Parliament. If she does so and wins a seat there are many M.Ps who could doubtless benefit from having the services of a criminal behavioural analyst in the House. 



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