Crime scene analysis:
- material evidence from crime scene
- however, material evidence can be removed from the crime scene by clever minded criminals
- in this case police must rely on behavioral evidence
Offender Profiling: - main assumption is that the characteristics of offender can be determined by characteristics of offence.
- offender profiling has 3 main goals:
- social and psychological info on offender e.g. age, personality, race
- psychological evaluation of belongings to give info on searchwarrant
- interviewing suggestions/strategies
British approach: bottom-up - applying situation to theory. Evidence ---> Theory
- Known as investigative psychology.
- Relies on principles of criminal consistency hypothesis: - idea that people act consistently over time & in different situations. - the theory is applied in two main ways: - interaction between criminal and victim. - geographical area in which criminal commits crimes.
American approach: top-down - previously generated theories of criminal behaviour used to interpret evidence at crime scene. Theory ---> Evidence
- known as crime scene analysis
- built up a data base of criminal characteristics using 2 main methods: - in depth interviews with 36 convicted sexually orientated murderers. - info on crime scenes, nature of attacks and forensic evidence.
Do they work? -severley limited in types of crimes to which it can be applied. -Because there is relatively few profiles to use, it is difficult to evaluate their effectiveness
Aim- Evaluate the potential for offender profiling to assist with investigation of serious crime.
Method- Questionnaire (survey) to determine attitudes of police towards the use of profling being used for serious cases. Profiling advice been sought by police for four reasons:
- Help predict characteristics of unknown offenders
- Help police asses future level of threat
- Provide stratagies for interviewing suspects and witnesses
- Link a series of offenders by behavioural traits
- Only 14% of respondents claimed profiling had helped solve the case
- only 16% claimed to have directly acted upon advice from profiler
- only 3% claimed advice had lead to identification of offender
- 69% said they would use it again
- 83% said they found it useful
- Was useful but did not lead to an arrest
- Can not rely upon this alone
- When taken seriously by police it can produce results
- 16% claimed to have acted upon it yet 69% would use it again. Suggests that police feel as though it is 'below them'.
- Due to 'railway ******' this approach may have been given undue credit from media, resulting in the truthful verdict being disclosed from this study