(Excuse the lack of spaces between sections – I don’t understand the latest edition of WordPress)
On the platform formerly known as Twitter, Mary Aspinall-Miles (followed by 27 people I follow) wrote:
May I ask a question about criminal justice language: When did the word “perpetrators/perp” start getting wide-scale use in the UK generally?
After the pandemic when we all started watching too many US cop shows on Netflix?
Has it though? I don’t hear this at work: it’s suspect / offender / nominal / defendant; and very occasionally accused / subject / target / person of interest. I think it may be more common in victim support services, maybe ?
In the light of concerns about the Ben Butler case in June 2016, this post by Sarah Phillimore attempts to explain the law that will apply in the family courts when a child has been hurt and there are a number of adults who could have done it – the so called ‘pool of perpetrators’.
A person who perpetrates something, esp. a crime or evil deed.
Estemed as menquellers and perpetratours of most wicked factes.Actes & Monumentes (revised edition) vol. I. 110/2,
The actor or absolute perpetrator of the crime.Commentaries on Laws of England vol. IV. iii. 34,1796…
What is often said..of other crimes..if the perpetrator be sufficiently illustrious, it becomes a virtue.Book-hunter (1863) 183,1951
Harington was the Queen’s godson—clever,..naughty, a light~weight, perpetrator of puns and practical jokes.English Past 24,1995
He wanted the perpetrators captured and executed.
Op-center xx. 100,