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
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.
• 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.
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.