MP calls for police to reopen Croydon cat killer probe

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Two young gray striped cats, with brown eyes, are sitting on a stump in a bright autumn garden. Portrait of pets, outdoors, in the village.
An MP has called for the Croydon cat killer investigation to be reopened by police. (Stock picture: Getty)

The investigation into the so-called ‘Croydon cat killer’ should be reopened by police, an MP has said.

A probe was launched by police after hundreds of cats were reported to have been mutilated - some decapitated - across the south London borough from November 2015 onwards, sparking fears that a serial killer was on the loose.

The decision to open the investigation came after six cases were deemed to be suspicious but during its three-year duration another 400 reports of cat mutilations were collated in and around London.

In 2018 the investigation, codenamed Operation Takahe, was closed by Scotland Yard, which said there was “no evidence that any of the cats had been killed by a human” and suggested they were probably hit and killed by cars then mutilated by scavenging foxes.

But a Conservative MP has called for the probe to be reopened, saying pet owners were “no closer to finding the truth” and branding suggestions that foxes were behind some of the incidents as “fanciful”.

File photo dated 03/02/17 of the New Scotland Yard sign. Britain's biggest police force has seen assaults on officers rise by 37% in the past three months, figures show. The Metropolitan Police said 2,027 assaults were recorded between May and July, compared with 1,475 in the same months in 2019.
Scotland Yard closed its investigation after three years in 2018. (Getty)

Elliot Colburn told the Commons he wanted the cat owners involved to “have a bit of justice”.

He said: “It started in Croydon, which is the borough which I border, however, there was a spate of cat killings which involved beheading the cat which has spread to other parts of south London, including Carshalton and Wallington.

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“Now, there has been an investigation into this and the conclusion was that this was down to urban foxes, which the owners of these cats find a bit fanciful – and I have to say I agree as well.

“The pattern of behaviour, particularly beheading the cat and leaving it there with no evidence of the cat being eaten, doesn’t suggest to me that this was urban foxes, this suggests to me there is a systematic level of abuse going on here.

“And I sincerely hope that investigations can be reopened and these cat owners can have a bit of justice and a bit of an answer about what happened to their beloved pets.”

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