Approaches to Offender Profiling (WJEC)

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  • Approaches to Offender Profiling
    • American Apporach
      • Developed in 1970's by FBI using a two pronged approach
        • Stage One: 36 in depth interviews with sexually orientated murderers including Ted Bundy & Charles Manson
        • Stage Two: A collection of detailed information from the Behavioural Science Unit experienced in sexual crimes and homicide
        • Combination of the two plus detailed examination of crime scene, nature of attacks, forensic evidence and any information related to the victim
      • Organised Murderer: Highly Intelligent, Socially Contempt, Plans Murder, Uses Restraints & Brings and Takes Weapon
      • Dis organised Murderer: Low Intelligence, Socially In-contempt, Little/No Plan, Minimal   Use of Restraints, Displays Body in Plain View, Leaves Evidence including blood, semen, fingerprints and weapon
      • Judson & Berekian (1977): Stages developed by FBI:
        • Stage One: Data Assimilation:  data collected from various scources
        • Stage Two: Crime Scene Classification: Evidence used to place murderer into a typology, Power-Reassurance, Power- Assertive, Anger - Retaliatory or Anger - Excitement
        • Stage Three: Crime Reconstruction: Hypothesis developed about what the offender and victim did and the sequence of events
        • Stage Four: Profile Generation: A profile developed including the offender's age, ethnicity, social class, job, habits, personality etc
      • Evaluation:
        • Limited Use: only used in cases of Serial Murder, ****, Arson, Satanic Crimes and Pedophilia that are all rare and horrific
        • Difficult to assess the effectiveness since it's rare but it makes valuable contributes to solving them
        • Holmes (1989): FBI data revealed that in 1981 in 92 cases of profile generation, 88 arrests were made but 17% of profiles contributed to the arrest
        • American Approach is Reductionist: Places offenders into two categories and ignores that they may be a mix of the two
    • British Approach
      • Developed in 1980 based on the work by Canter who used it to create an accurate profile of John Duffy
      • Based on psychological theories and two assumptions
        • 1: Individual offenders are consistent but have identifiable differences
        • 2: Criminal behavior mirrors behavior is real life
        • Also looks at the significance of the time and place as the location may related to where the offender lives
      • Copson & Holloway (1997): Looked at 184 cases and found that only 2.7% of cases lead to identification with help from profiling
      • Briton (1992): Little evidence that profiling were accurate or helped towards arrests but had the development of the approach had potential
      • Approach is Subjective and not Scientific
    • Geographical Approach
      • Developed by 3 researchers but made famous by Rossomo (1990)
      • Aims to identify the area the offender is most likely to work from
      • Suggests that individuals will commit crimes no further than needed from their base of operation
      • Based on mathamatical  equations but it only works if the offender has a stable base and has committed a number of crimes
      • Shaw & McKay (1942): identified a pattern  of juvenile delinquency and crime zones


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