Offender Profiling

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What is the top-down approach?
method used by the US- coined by the FBI in the 70s, includes crime scene analysis looking to see if the criminal is organised or disorganised- this classification determines what type of characteristics they might have
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What is the bottom up approach?
the British approach- a profile is built up from the crime scene e.g. does the data show significant patterns and do they have any forensic knowledge
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Davies et al (1997)
British approach- found that those who had forensic awareness were likely to have been convicted of burglary previously
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What is Geographical profiling?
Using the location of crimes to identify where the offender lives, works and travels to narrow down suspects- uses Cognitive maps and Criminal Geographic Targeting
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Why is the top down approach limited?
It can only be used for severe crimes such as **** and murder- these don't happen very often
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Does the top-down approach work- Douglas?
Douglas (1981) found that it rarely leads to the offender (15/192 cases) but does help narrow down investigations 77% of the time
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Why does the top-down approach have poor methodology?
because the information was based on unstructured interviews with 36 convicted murderers- manipulative therefore unlikely to be reliable- plus they have been caught
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Evidence for why the top-down approach isn't too simplistic
Holmes and Holmes (1998) said that disorganised killers and those who are impulsive and maybe suffering a break from reality whereas those that are organised enjoy to control and have power over their victims
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Why is the top-down approach too simplistic?
They organised/disorganised may lack validity- Canter (2004) looked at 100 murders and found no organised/dis characteristics and that 'power and control' killings are more typical murders rather than a distinct type
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What supporting evidence is there for the bottom-up approach?
House (1997) found that different types of **** can be identified from characteristics from the crime scene, Santilla et al (2003) found common patterns between juvenile fire-starters
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Does the bottom-up approach work?
Britton (1992) gave questionnaires to CID chiefs and they said that profiling was neither accurate nor contributed to arrests HOWEVER Copson (2004) gave q's to police and found that 80% of the time it helped in some way
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How predictable are offenders?
Mokros and Alison (2002) found that there was no correlation between the characteristics of the crime scene and the offenders age, intelligence etc. but there was a correlation between the offender and whether the crime was committed at day or night
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What supporting evidence is there for Geographical Profiling?
Canter (2004) used data from 45 UK rapes and found that 87% committed the offences surrounding where they lived, Snook et al (2005) found that 63% of murderers dispose of the body less than 10km away from where they live similar to Lundrigan & Canter
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How does geographical profiling perform compared to others?
Goodwill and Alison (2006) found that geographical profiling proved to be the most helpful followed by temporal and then behavioural
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Card 2

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What is the bottom up approach?

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the British approach- a profile is built up from the crime scene e.g. does the data show significant patterns and do they have any forensic knowledge

Card 3

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Davies et al (1997)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Geographical profiling?

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Card 5

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Why is the top down approach limited?

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