Criminal Profiling: Behavioural Analysis

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Criminal Profiling is known to be a form of Behavioural Analysis and can be referred to under terms and definitions. A classic text book definition is “the gathering of various kinds of information about a person or persons. Criminal profiling is an attempt to identify demographic variable, geographic location and behavioral patterns of an offender based on characteristics of previous offenders who have committed similar offences” (White & Perrone, 2015). Since it was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1986 (Sample, 2010), the method of profiling has been defined in multiple terms by numerous theorists, critics, the media and the general public. While this investigative method is relatively new there is no doubt that it has risen without…show more content…
With multiple outlets such as television shows, news reports, social media platforms, newspaper forums and fictional novels it is not surprising that modern society’s common conception of criminal profiling is seen as an exhilarating and thrilling and career option. Crime, along with many other controversial topics is often reshaped, overdramatised by the media to gain attention from the public. The ‘Beltway Serial Sniper’ (Bothe, 2002) and ‘Granny Killer’ (Wilson, 1997) are two famous cases in which profiles were created and the outcome was very unsuccessful. As a result, the media and critics further scrutinised the practice of profiling, bringing forward the popular question of whether it is an art or a science. Professor Ormerod and Sturnman claim that “the psychological profile has serious limitations: it is practiced in an inconsistent manner, often from unverified base of material by a body of individuals with diverse levels of training and experience, and inadequate independent monitoring and review.” Due the the many definitions of the term criminal profiling, the accuracy and efficiency of profiling is measured in different ways depending on the person, and their individual definition as to what successful criminal profiling may…show more content…
“Whilst it is still seen forms of intuition and educated guesswork, many profilers admit that, to the best of their knowledge, a profile has yet to actually solve a single case or pinpoint the individual concerned” (Palermo, 2007). Agreeing with Palermo, the FBI themselves claim that criminal profilers are actually their own worst critics. Criminal Profiling can be criticised under three main categories, Validity, Utility and Ethics. Dr Richard Kocsis, a Forensic Psychologist and Criminologist, analyses these three components and puts forward arguments in critical, neutral and supportive view of the topic. “Validity of profiling is measured by its success”, he further asks, “what is profiling meant to achieve, only by delimiting the variable involved can we hope to be able to measure its success or failure empirically”. From this statement, one could raise the question of to what degree constitutes a ‘successful criminal profile’, since there is no written guidelines or laws for the creation of a criminal profile, each critic has their own standard that a criminal profile must meet in order for it to be accurate and effective. When it comes to

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