Case Linkage

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The current age and society has had an increase in crime rates over the recent years. As technology improves, criminals begin to devise better techniques in committing crimes, leaving little physical evidence such as DNA and fingerprints which lead to their capture. This has then led to a fairly recent form of connecting crimes to the criminals by using a method called case linkage (Hazelwood & Warren, 1990). Due to it being a relatively new concept, limited research has been conducted to test the effectiveness of this theory. Fortunately, its increasing popularity over recent years has led to further research on this matter. Case linkage is used to identify behavioural similarities and consistencies throughout various crime scenes. The established…show more content…
Three assumptions that explain case linkage were then developed. Firstly, the behavioural consistency hypothesis describes offender behaviour to be relatively uniform throughout different crime scenes following the cognitive-affective personality system (Mischel & Shoda, 1995). However, research by personality psychologists revealed that different offenders may exhibit identical behaviours when encountered by similar psychologically triggering situations which may cause complications in linking crimes (Tonkin, Woodhams, Bull, Bond & Palmer, 2011). Secondly, the behavioural distinctiveness hypothesis justifies that an offender has a distinguishing pattern which is prominent in the offender alone. These patterns include their modus operandi, rituals and exclusive signature. Thirdly, Mokros and Alison (2002) outlines the homology assumption where an offender’s characteristics is reflected in the crime scene. This hypothesis, however, may sometimes be invalid when there are certain degrees of similarity in crime scenes of different…show more content…
From a criminological perspective, it is also known as comparative case analysis (CCA) and is usually conducted by an analyst from the police force or any crime bureaus (Woodhams & Toye, 2007). Burrell and Bull (2011) stated the various factors which affect the time taken for CCA to be conducted which includes data acquisition from numerous sources, the completeness of the available resources as well as the intricacy of the behaviours needed to be compared. The aim of CCA is to recognize serial crimes and distinguish the individual offenders involved in the crimes (Bennell, Jones & Melnyk, 2009). However, difficulties arise when cases are inaccessible or there is an absence of prominent data. This problem can be overcome by ensuring detailed and comprehensive information is collected at the crime

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