Offender profiling and its application within the Metropolitan Police Service.

Galopin, Bernard (2013) Offender profiling and its application within the Metropolitan Police Service. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Many attempts have been made to understand criminality, in order to reduce crime, apprehend perpetrators and support victims. Criminal justice systems have evolved, legal frameworks developed and investigation techniques advanced in order to keep pace with changes in morality and the landscape of criminality. However, despite progress and change in these areas, crimes remain unsolved where the identity of the perpetrator is unknown.
    Debate continues with regard to the possibility of inferring an offender's characteristics from crime scene details. This is the process often referred to as 'offender profiling'. I argue that conventional theories of crime and deviance formed the basic principles and foundations of offender profiling in its early years. This paper outlines the development of offender profiling, from the 1950s to modern times, and argues that it has developed away from being an 'art' towards being more of a 'science'.
    Three different approaches to offender profiling have developed and are discussed, critiqued and compared. Recently, a broader definition of offender profiling has emerged that recognises the range of tested and transparent evidence based methods by which psychologists might provide advice to investigators. This is now termed 'Behavioural Investigative Advice (BIA)', which not only focuses on the offender but also prioritises risk assessment, investigative interviews, geographical profiling and crime linking.
    Having argued that conventional theories of crime and deviance have provided the initial foundations of profiling, I take the debate a stage further and discuss the principles and assumptions which underpin modern offender profiling principles. The real challenge now is to identify which features of an offence make which characteristics more or less conducive to profiling.
    The evaluation of offender profiling is discussed, with particular reference to Toulmin's Philosophy Model. I critiqued the use of this model in relation to the data identified from my own research, which is outlined in subsequent chapters.
    My own research is focused on the case reviews of four Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) investigations that used offender profiling. The aim of this research is to determine the effectiveness of offender profiling as an investigative technique within the MPS. My research involved the evaluation of profiler‟s reports produced in these cases. I also analysed the views of the Senior Investigating Officers (SIOs) who used profilers in these investigations and also considered their views in respect to profiling.
    The paper also considers the case studies in the context of recent and relevant theories on crime, personality and other factors, which form the basis of the modern assumptions and principles upon which offender profiling is based. The objective in this section is to discuss the cases in line with the theoretical framework.
    Having considered the principles of offender profiling, its development, evaluation and the findings from my own research, the final section of this paper considers the many different uses and applications of offender profiling in the modern age. It also suggests how offender profiling can develop further.
    However, the starting point is to discuss the conventional theories of crime and deviance, which formed the early foundations of offender profiling and provides the basis of its continued development.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 09:59
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:31

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