Offender Profiling Theory

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Criminology Offender profiling is a set of techniques used to try and identify perpetrators of a serious crime. Offender profiling will tend to use the expertise of a professional psychologist, although profilers come from different types of backgrounds because there is no specific training for the job. The profiler will draw on his knowledge of personality theory to attribute personality traits to the offender. The profiler will consider many elements when carrying out a profile, such as the crime scene, the offence, the sex of the victim and offender, body deposition site and the interaction style. These are just a few of the issues the profiler will consider. There are many different definitions of offender profiling today; according to…show more content…
This may reflect the way the criminal treats other women, in his non-criminal life. Also the type of victim may also reflect the sub-group to which the criminal belongs. For example Ted Bundy killed over 30 students, when he himself was a student. The time and place of the crime may also be significant when making a profile. The precise location of the crime and the map of the relationship between the places in which a series of offences took place, may relate to where the offender is living and to his past experience. Forensics are important when making a profile. For example if a rapist has been questioned previously by the police, their crimes may leave indications of this, this can be shown by some rapists who make their victims bathe to get rid of forensic evidence, so a check of police records is always worthwhile. According to Boon and Davies (1992) Canter and his colleagues identified five aspects of criminal behaviour which is very significant and revealing; the location, criminal biography, personal characteristics, domestic and social characteristics and occupational history. Another important aspect is geography, where criminals may feel comfortable committing the crime. By contrast the "top down" approach to offender profiling, involves using previous knowledge and information to draw conclusions about a current situation, and is reliant on subjective conclusions that come from investigative experience of crimes and criminal interviews. The American method of offender profiling is called a "top-down"

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