Martin Clunes urges Scotland Yard to catch 'Cat Ripper of Croydon'
Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has written to Scotland Yard calling for officers to catch the so-called Cat Ripper of Croydon.
At least 35 cats are thought to have been "massacred" around the south London borough, according to the actor, who sent the email to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on behalf of animal rights group Peta.
Clunes, who went to school in Croydon, wrote: "I read with horror that some of the cats had been decapitated and dismembered - this is the stuff of nightmares.
"The local community is understandably distraught and frightened. No one feels safe while this sick individual is on the loose."
He goes on to note that mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider animal abuse to be a red flag indicating a deep mental disturbance.
"Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals don't stop there - many of them move on to their fellow humans. That is a scary thought indeed," Clunes wrote.
He concludes the letter by saying: "Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the malicious nature of these crimes, I implore you to take every measure necessary, including re-examining all available CCTV footage, to apprehend this dangerous criminal.
"The safety of the entire community depends on it."
Peta has offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.