Teresa Clyne

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Geographical profiling

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What is Criminology ?

Criminology examines why people commit crime, these are the pivotal questions in the ongoing debate of how crime should be handled and prevented. It is an area of law that deals with victims of crime, theories explaining illegal and/or deviant behaviour, the social reaction to crime, the effectiveness of anti-crime policies and the broader political terrain of social control.

Areas of expertise of Criminologists(small example)

Anomie, Social Control Theories
Labelling Theory and Critical Criminology
White Collar Crime

What is Forensic Psychology?

(The science of Behaviour)

Forensic Psychology is used within the justice system to assess offenders, identify criminal capacity in young people and to characterise psychopaths. Identify fitness to stand trial and finally they can be used to determine the likelihood of future violence. Can be used to assess the future criminality of offending minors

Areas of expertise of Forensic Psychologists (small sample)

Criminal Responsibility and Psychiatric Defences
Mental Disorder as a Defence
Eyewitness Testimony

What is Criminal Psychology?

Criminal Psychology (The study of criminal minds)

Criminal Psychology is in plain English, the study of why criminals do what they do. In essence, it is the study of the mental processes, motivational patterns, and behaviour of criminals.

Areas of expertise of Criminal Psychologists (small sample)

Offender Profiling
Geographical Profiling
Eye witness testimony


Geographical Profiling

Geographical profiling is another statistical technique that uses algorithms based on the movements of serial offenders to attempt identify the likely location from which they operate, i.e. from home or perhaps their place of employment.

Canter’s description of his techniques used to help in the capture of John Duffy explains how, by looking at when and where the victims were found he was able to determine that Duffy probably had some connection with the railways or lived near a railway.

In fact, Duffy was a carpenter working for British Rail, and who had an intimate knowledge of the railway system around North London where he lived and where he found his victims.

Marauders and Commuter crimes

Marauder Crimes:
Static, localised or geographically stable serial offender;
Commits crime within a confined area;
• Bounded by psychological barriers and landscape features;
• Operates within his/her awareness space;
• Likely to have an anchor point (the haven) from which to operate;
• Offender’s haven lies within the distribution of crime sites.

Commuter Crimes:

• Mobile dispersed or geographically transient serial offender;
• Commits crimes over large areas;
• Cross cultural and psychological boundaries;
• Most offences occur outside the offender’s awareness space;
• Involves complex hunting strategies;
• Hunting area lack a definable anchor point.

Profiles v Typologies

The distinction between typologies and profiles is often blurred.
Offender profiles are often thought of as a means of identifying specific individuals whereas typologies are more concerned with the general characteristics of offenders.
There are elements of truth in both these statements but it is probably more correct to say that at present, it is traditional police work that catches individual offenders, profiling may offer pointers or help to reduce the number of suspects. The techniques of offender profiling are a long way from being able to identify specific individuals.

Geographical prioritization

For you own records or research you may wish to investigate, download or buy DRAGNET. Dragnet is a geographical prioritization package, developed at the Centre of Investigative Psychology, which is based extensively on empirical research into the spatial behaviour of offending populations. Using a series of crime locations, Dragnet prioritises the surrounding area in order to determine the most likely region or regions for the perpetrators home or base.
Now that you have finished the last chapter in An Introduction to Criminal Psychology in Ireland it is time to conduct you first criminal profiling assignment.

To start conducting a criminal profile firstly you need to recap on the steps;
1) Get facts of the crime (behaviour, what he did and the crime scene).
2) Background information on the victim/offender.
3) Autopsy report.

Now you need to identify the following;
• Behavioural information at the scene.
• Type of murder
• Consider profiles are used in conjunction with so many other crime solving methods
• Consider victim risk and offender risk
• Consider the usefulness of psychological profiling
Case samples for your analysis, read through the following scenarios and give your theories based on your cases assessment model.


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