FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY- offender profiling , - Coggle Diagram
FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY- offender profiling
defining offender profiling
OP is the idea that you can make assumptions about characteristics of an offender by a careful analysis of the offence they commit. crime isnt random, offenders have a
- a distintive way they commit their crimes, aka a criminal signature. this can be combined with other information about the victim and the place of the crime
profilers then make assumptions about the offender. this includes demographics like their age, gender, ethnicity, occupation and level of education. also, physical and behavioural characteristics which is then used to narrow down potential subjects.
OP is usually used in serious crimes like rape and murder and mostly in cases of serial offences. usually only used when standard forensic techniques have failed
disorganised vs organised offenders
this is the typology of the
data assimulation- info gathered from crime scene and other info like choice of victim and location
crime scene classification- analysis of info suggests the criminal type
above average intelligence
follows crime in media
below average intelligence
crime reconstruction. sequence both the offender and victim's behaviour before and during the offence is hypothesised
profile generation- range of inferenced made like demographic assumptions, physical features and expected behaviours
top-down offender profiling
criminal investigative analysis
and developed by FBI in America.
profilers have created pre-existing categories of offender types called
offenders. thsy use evidence collected from the crime scene and other contextual information to fit the offender into one of these types.
it is based on the personal experience and intuition of the profiler
starting from pre-existing concepts already existing in the mind- like offender types
POSITIVE- definitions of organised and disorganised offenders were developed through extensive interviews with real offenders like Bundy. 24 could be classified as organised and 12 as disorganised which suggests there are distinct "types" of offender that may predict behaviour and aid apprehension.
NEGATIVE- this was a very restricted sample of serial sex offenders. results might not be generalisable to wider population. self-report method may have low validity because they could lie to make crimes seem worse, for notoriety or in the hope of a reduced sentence
NEGATIVE- Canter reviewed 100 US serial killers and analysed 39 aspects of their offence. found that disorganised features were rare and didnt form a distinct type. this suggests that there is a false dichomity between the 2 types and organisation istypical for most serial killers.
dichomoty means referring to a division or contrast between 2 things that are represented as being opposed or entirely different
a branch of investigative psychology (
focused on where the offender is likely to be based rather then personal characteristics. it assumes the location of crimes isnt random. this helps investigators narrow down their search areas
the number of crimes will decrease as you get further away from the offenders base. however there is a buffer zone immediately around their home base to decrease chane of being recognised
the circle hypothesis=
suggests that because offenders operate according to a limited spatial mindset crimes radiate out from their home base creatig a circle
canter suggests theres 2 types of criminal behaviour.
whose base is within the circle and
who travel a distance away from their location
least effort principle=
if there are multiple equal potential locations to commit a crime then the offender will pick the closest to their home base
is a more complex version which includes grographical data and features of the environment to create a 3d heat map of where the offenders base may be located and this is called a
POSITIVE- canter showed that 87% of a sample of 45 british serial sexual assaulters were mauraders which supports the circle hypothesis and the idea that choice of the place of the crime scene is a significant factor in offender behaviour
NEGATIVE- its hard to know if a criminal is a maurader or commuter before being apprehended. can be hard to distinguish offences by sparate offenders, the number of offences coud be small or not all of the offences are recorded. these factors reduce the application of geographic profiling in directing police resources.
POSITIVE- it makes inferences based on careful statistical analysis from published research so it is seen as more scientific than top down criminal investigative analysis which relies on experience nd intuition of individual criminal profilers.
bottom-up offender profiling
, developed in the UK
profilers gather information from the scene such as location and criminal and victim behaviour.
is then used to compare details of the crime data collected from a large number of previous similar crimes, like how far an offender is likely to travel from the base of operations
starting from sensory data
canter created a five factor model for interpreting a crime scene
suggests a persons interactional style with the victim is the same as with other people in their lives eg aggressive, manipulative
time and place significance
= location is chosen by offnder so it is significant to them. it ties into the offenders mental model of their environment (schemas). offenders are more likely to feel more comfortable/ control in a place they know better
how crim has been committed suggests aspects of the offenders characteristics, based on evidence from previous criminal studies
how following crimes by the same offender change due to the criminal becoming more experienced
does the criminal show some know;edge of the criminal justice system and use techniques to reduce evidence at the crime scene?
general evaluations of offender profiling.
NEGATIVE- its hard to assess the effectiveness of offender profiling because its never used in isolation
NEGATIVE- Alison gave 2 groups of police detectives the same profile but each group was provided with the details of 2 very different offenders. 50% of each group said the proile was very accurate. this suggests the police are meaning to what are ambiguous stateents and this is an extension of the Barnum effect- statements are so general that they could apply to almost nayoe but we are tricked into believing theyre true. frequently used in things like horoscopes.
POSITIVE- canadian major crime officers agreed that criminal profiling helps to solve cases and is a valuable tool (around 90% of people)