Approaches to Profiling

HideShow resource information

British Approach: Bottom-Up- takes into account the offenders, personally and locations

American Approach: Top-Down- looks at all aspects of the crime scene then narrows it down to the possible suspect

Geographical Approach: Location/area of the crime

British Approach

The British approach to profiling was developed by David Canter, during the case of the Railway Rapist. This approach takes into account

Canter looked at the way crimes may occure mirroring the behaviour of the everyday life of the criminal. The approach take into account that not all crimes are the same and is founded on the psychological principle.

Criminal Consistency Hypothesis- Offenders like all people act in a fairly consistent manner. Therefore they way which they commit crimes would reflect thei everyday behaviuor and traits. This theory had been applied to interactions between victim and offender (interpersonal consistency) and the geographical area which they commit their crimes (spatial consistency).

Canter doesn't necessary disagree with the American approach but believes the typologies should be based on the meanings of behaviour not the overt behaviours.


The British approach is scientific in some asepcts, it uses the theory of consistency and looks at patterns of behaviour to identify the offender, furthermore it has proved successful, in the case of John Duffy (Railway Rapist). The approach also focuses on the scientific aspect using the criminal consistency hypothesis.

As well as this the approach can be used to look a wide range of crimes, varying from theft to murders.



No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Criminological and Forensic Psychology resources »