An examination of Offender profiling techniques

This essay will be speaking about the potency of offender profiling techniques. First of all the essay will be looking at details what offender profiling is and describing it. Second the article will be looking at the assessment of the US and UK strategies and the efficiency. Finally a conclusion with be drawn to go through the differences between your UK & US approaches.

In the criminal justice system, there is a growing demand for experts in neuro-scientific human behaviour who can assist law enforcement with solving abnormal homicide cases. Police agencies often seek help from psychologists, criminologists, psychiatrists, and other specialists that specialize in human behaviour when looking to catch a suspect. Criminal profiling is in destination to help find and capture criminals, it has now are more common during many a unlawful investigation. Offender profiling in addition has been recognised among the most readily useful techniques in offender profiling, a method used to help define the behaviour of your offender before they reach the height of their criminal career. Thus giving the Specialists a good idea of important facts of an criminal's personality; facts such as: Profession, environment in which they live and whether it is possible for them to punch again or not. Offender profiling is commonly used in crimes such as paedophilia, rape, satanic and ritualistic offense, lust and mutilation murder and as well as much other crimes. The goals of profiling are: to make assessments from the criminal offenses scene that gives the authorities an idea of how to capture the unlawful.

According for the Guardian (the jigsaw man, Steven Morris 2000) 'The modern history of what came to be known as "offender profiling" commenced in the 40s when the united states Office of Strategic Services asked William Langer, a psychiatrist, to draw up a account of Adolf Hitler. After the second world warfare, Lionel Haward, a psychologist working for the Royal Air Power, drew up a set of characteristics which high-ranking Nazi war criminals might screen. Then in the 50s, James A Brussel, a US psychiatrist, drew up what considered be an uncannily exact profile of an bomber who had been terrorising New York'

According to Holmes & Holmes (1996) there must be three main goals of offender profiling, they are to provide the law enforcement officials with basic information about the characteristics of the offender such as years, race, personality, employment and marital status, to suggest any possessions the offender may have that could associate him with the offense picture (such as souvenirs the authorities may choose to search for) and also to provide interviewing strategies and suggestions the police could use when questioning a suspect. The American approach to developing a profile of your offender has been developed from an initial test of interviews with 36 convicted serial erotic murderers, coupled with specific information from offense scenes.

The next part of this essay it will be discussing the effectiveness of both UK & US offender profiling and talking about the evaluation of both methods. Firstly, the united states approach is recognized as "holistic" or "top-down" strategy and data from picture and from MO compared with recently known information. The FBI's Offense Scene Analysis includes six steps, which can be summarized in the section that comes after.

Profiling Inputs: a assortment of all proof, including anything found on the picture (i. e. materials, paint chips, etc. ) and anything derived from the crime scene

Decision Process Models: proof is arranged to locate any types of patterns, such as set up crime is part of some crimes, the particular victims have as a common factor.

Crime Assessment: the data has been structured, the crime world is reconstructed. Investigators use patterns to know what occurred in what order, and what role each sufferer, weapon acquired in the crime.

Criminal Profile: the merged first three steps are used to create a criminal profile adding the motives, physical features, and personality of the perpetrator. Also, the investigators use this information to decide on the best way to interview the suspects predicated on their personality.

The Exploration: the profile is given to investigators on the case and also to organizations that could have data leading to the identification of a suspect. The profile may be reassessed if no leads are located or if new information is discovered.

The Apprehension: this stage only occurs in about 50% of situations. When a suspect is revealed, he/she is interviewed, looked into, compared to the profile. In case the investigators have reason to think that the think is the perpetrator, a warrant is obtained for the arrest of the average person, usually accompanied by a trial with expert witnesses including the forensic psychologist and other forensic experts, including those involved in the crime science research.

According to Jackson (1997) 'Offences most suited to profiling require those where the suspects behaviour at the criminal offenses picture revel important details about themselves. Arson and sexually motivated crimes where in fact the criminal has demonstrated some type of psychopathy seem to offer the best chance of useful information being disclose. ' One or two types of profiling where its most reliable are crime views revealing research sadistic torture, posturing of the body, ritualistic behaviour or staging. Based on the F. B. I case which entail mere damage to property, assault or murder throughout a commission of an robbery are usually unsuitable for profiling as the personality of the offender is not frequently not discovered in such criminal offenses scenes. However medicine related crimes provide themselves improperly to profiling because the true personality of an offender is not recognised.

Criminal profiling prevails in large part due to the work of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, a department focused on "increasing new and impressive investigative strategies and ways to the solution of offense by learning the offender, and his/her behavior and motivation"

According to Brent E. Turvey, MS (1998) The features of the Inductive Felony Profiling model are immediately apparent. Foremost is that Inductive Profiling is a very easy tool to work with, that no specialised forensic knowledge, education, or trained in the analysis of criminal behaviour or criminal exploration is required. Additionally, general information can be set up in a comparatively short period of time without the great effort or ability on the part of the profiler. The effect is usually a one or two page list of unqualified characteristics. These generalizations can effectively predict a few of the non-distinguishing elements of individual criminal behavior, however, not with significant amounts of consistency or dependability.

The next part of the article will be discussing the UK methodology of offender profiling. The UK approach to the word offender profile came up popular to the police forces and the general public during the 1980's. British procedure is less subjective and called "bottom level up" method, or "data-driven". Data is accumulated and analysed to create definite, assessed, specific associations between offences and offender characteristics.

Paul Britton is a Advisor Clinical and Forensic Psychologist who founded emotional profiling in the UK. He has suggested the police in over a hundred serious investigations, including some of the most high profile offences of the past twenty five years. In his previous role as head of the UK's most significant Forensic Psychology Service, he assessed and treated a large number of offenders, victims and witnesses. He sat on the Connection of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) sub-committee on offender profiling for a few years, remaining an independent consultant for many more, and has liaised with worldwide organizations.

Professor David Canter was a pioneer in this nascent field, helping to guide detectives in the mid-80s to an offender who experienced carried out a series of serious disorders. But he found the limits of offender profiling- in particular, the subjective, personal thoughts and opinions of a psychologist. He and a colleague coined the term investigative psychology and began wanting to approach the subject from what they found as a more scientific perspective.

The approach to offender profiling uses the environment and nature of and physical facts at the criminal offense scene. This builds up a relationship between your characteristics of the offence and the real offender. This approach also uses technological statistics in handling evidence. Each profile is unique to the average person offender gives the technique the name 'bottom-up'.

Offender profiling is most useful when trying to find a serial offender as law enforcement officials can identify the 'type'of victim, especially in rape and/or murder circumstances. The behavior of the offender can be an important feature in profiling an offender types of this are; the positioning of the crime, type of victim, interaction with sufferer and frequently the timing of the offense. Environmental ideas such as 'mental maps'are often used in order to develop the theory that typical rapists stay in the region that they offend in. This process to profiling seeks to be more clinical, using real data and statistical evaluation.

Canter (2000) claims concerns that the F. B. I. 's typologies may be too closely centered on the conducts of the offenders alternatively than on this is of the actions.

A detailed examination of the crime scene might thus be seen as an essential first rung on the ladder in the gathering of relevant information. While a physical assessment is already carried out by forensic experts searching for fingerprints, clothing fibres, semen samples etc. , the picture can also show other signs to the profiler. detailed examination of the crime scene may well provide clues regarding the root personality of the offender. It appeared that some offences were completed with a great deal of forward planning, while some were dedicated with little planning or prep. In the second option case, a sufferer may have been selected at random, whereas in the past, a victim may have been targeted and observed for quite a while before the offence. While a detailed study of the crime field will be helpful to a profiler, such an examination is not always possible. For instance, some recent research in the united kingdom (Smith, 1998) has suggested that profilers usually do not be earned at the initial opportunity, but instead are approached when other more traditional varieties of law enforcement officials enquiry have failed. By this level the crime arena will probably have been disturbed and vital signs possibly lost.

Turvey (1999) warns against using profiling as anything other than recommending probabilities. He cites the case of Rachel Nickell, examined by Kocsis et al. (1998).

After looking at both techniques from the united kingdom &US, they both have different approaches to offender profiling. Firstly, Benefit and Davies (1992) claim that the United kingdom approach is dependant on 'bottom-up' data processing (an analysis of existing research) the aim being to identify associations between offences and offender characteristics. The American methodology is 'top-up' and uses subjective conclusions drawn from both experience of crime and interview with criminals. This state governments that the united kingdom approach talks about the data of an criminal and the data, the US approach talks about the criminal and gathers information.

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