FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY - OFFENDER PROFILING APPROACHES

approaches of offender profiling - forensic psychology

a2 psychology unit 3

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Offender Profiling Approaches
`Typology' and `Geographical' approaches
David Canter's profile of John Duffy
Can be used as evidence when arguing that offender profiling is good
Accuracy of this profile...
Live in Kilburn or Cricklewood area of London where the first 3 offences occurred
Have marriage problems
Loner with few friends
Physically small with feelings of unattractiveness
Have an interest in martial arts or body building
Be married with no children
Duffy lived in Kilburn
Duffy was married, and a low sperm count meant he was infertile
Duffy and his wife were separated
Duffy had only 2 male friends
The Typology Approach
American based
Referred to as crime scene analysis
Based on a classification system ­ the idea that serious offenders can be put into categories
(typologies): `organised'/'disorganised'
Classification based on interviews with serious sex offenders
Evaluation
Sample size small
Classification system is crude (a third `add on' category `mixed' since appeared)
Canter et al. 2004
The Geographical Approach
British based
Referred to as investigative psychology
Lead by the work of David Canter
Psychological approach used: geographical profiling is built on schema theory (e.g. mental
maps)
Based on the idea that there will be consistence within the actions of an offender, but
differenced between offenders (e.g. if rape is degrading, it is likely to be mirrored in
everyday life ­ interpersonal coherence)
John Duffy (`railway rapist') is a good example to illustrate the principles of investigative
psychology
Evaluation
Uses existing psychological theory
Can be used for a range of crimes
Other information, e.g. nature of the victim, is needed
Lundrigan and Canter (2001)

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