The Characteristics Of Offender Profiling

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Offender profiling is the identification of personality and behavioural characteristics of the criminal offender(s) by analysing the crime that has been committed. Snook, Cullen, Bennell, Taylor, & Gendreau's (2008) review explains that people's belief in criminal profiling is an illusion, as they state that there is a lack of empirical evidence. The first profile was created by James Brussel, who managed to accurately capture multiple characteristics of the 1956 New York Bomber, George Metesky. Another accurate profile was the first UK profile of the Railway Rapist (1983-86), John Duffy, created by David Canter. However, not all profiles are accurate; as with the case of Rachel Nickell's Murder in 1992. Paul Britton broadcasted a criminal profile that happened to match up to a man called Colin Stagg, who was, in fact, innocent, as found out 16 years after the case was dismissed, due to its lack of evidence, when Robert Napper admitted to the murder in 2008. The criminal investigative approach was created in the 1970s by the American FBI and it bases criminal profiles off of knowledge gained from examining the scene of the offence. This approach has been simplified by Hicks & Sales (2006), and Homant & Kennedy (1998), into three stages of work. Police will gather data from the crime scene as well as pathologist’s reports and witness statements (stage one), then pass them on to a criminal profiler who will construct a profile of possible personality and behavioural
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