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Forensic psychology
What is crime?

Oxford definition of crime - `an act punishable by law, as being forbidden by statutes
and injurious to public welfare... An evil or injurious act; an offence, sin; esp. Of grave
Normative crime- On the other hand crime may be act that causes offence…

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Recorded as a crime

Designated a crime by police

Police attention

Designated a crime by the public

Noticed by the public

Possible crime

British crime survey

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is an example of a victim survey
Measures crime by asking 50,000 people about the incident of crime they…

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This is decreasing and became stable in 2006.
Although the number of crimes reported rose in this period, mainly due to the
changes to the rules of how the government measure crime.
The BCS gives a more accurate picture of crime, because it takes into account those
not recorded by…

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Biased selection of interviewees- Research may not be able to interview
more dangerous offenders. Or business executives who are rich/powerful
who corporate crime may be excluded from the interview.

Key points

A crime is the breach of a rule or law for which punishment is given
Crime may be classified…

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The victim will usually be randomly attacked and the attack will be quick and

FBI profiling

Stage 2. Crime scene classification

Organised or disorganised

Stage 1.Data assimilation

e.g. police reports.

Crime scene


Pathology reports

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Stage 4 Profile generation

Present hypotheses:


Physical characteristics

Behaviour habits

Stage 3. Crime reconstruction


Victim behaviour

Crime sequence

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Owing to its emphasis of on intuitions, the FBI has been criticised for lacking
scientific evidence and evaluation
It is therefore regarded more of an art than a science
Alison and Barrett- state that the approach is over-reliant on dated theories of
personality. And contains `many erroneous lay beliefs about…

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As the victims' bodies had been burnt there was little forensic evidence.
However, the method of attack seemed to be linked between rapes and murders.
The police to assist in the investigation and made an offender profile.
He suggested:
Lived near the sexual attacks that took place in 1983

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Interpersonal coherence- The actions displayed by the offender will be the
norm to him/her. E.g. the choice of victim will be significant
Significance of time and place- The offender needs to feel in control, so
will choose a specific location
Criminal characteristics- Analysis of crimes and the offenders will assist…

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Analysis of the crime scene
Meeting with the investigators and key police personnel
Analysis of the demographic 4 data and local crime stats.
Study of rapid transit, zoning and street maps
Overall analysis and submission of the report to lead investigators
The geographical techniques use a computer system called Criminal…


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