Discuss Approaches To Profiling

975 Words4 Pages
When it comes to identifying criminals, there are many approaches that help the police identify perpetrators of serious crimes. There are different techniques or approaches that can be used when it comes to profiling, as these different techniques can provide different types of information about the perpetrator. These approaches include; the US (top-down) approach, the British (bottom-up) approach and geographical profiling. Profiling began with the FBI in the 1970s. They began researching backgrounds, personalities and behaviours etc with sexual aspects to serial killers. These included 36 in-depth interviews with 36 convicted murderers. Using past experience the FBI came up with a classification system for several crimes including ones for rape and murder. They claimed that the criminal displayed a certain set of characteristics. The analysis of the crime scene indicates towards what kind of perpetrator they’d be dealing with, so the classification system can be used to determine the characteristics they might have. This is known as crime scene analysis. The top-down approach is based on the type of crime so the crime reconstruction and profile generation are from the crime scene classification. The stages in US profiling include; data assimilation, crime classification, crime reconstruction and then the profile generation. Although this type of profiling might be useful to some crimes, it is limited to crimes that leave significant evidence e.g. serial murder, rape, arson, satanic crimes and paedophilia. Crimes that are rare but still horrific so it’s helpful if profiling helps solve these crimes. The rarity of these crimes also means that there is little support for this type of technique. Profiling has also been criticised for being far from guaranteeing a conviction. However Douglas 1981 found that profiling rarely led to the direct offender but in 77% of
Open Document