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Criminal Profiling: Real Science Of Just Wishful Thinking

2451 words - 10 pages

Criminal profiling is an investigative technique used by many law enforcement agencies notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the analysis of elusive criminals through studying their criminal profiles. Profiling is usually done on basis of the type and nature of crime. Usually studies are conducted as to the offenders whereabouts and occupation before, during and after a particular crime was committed. After this, evidence is then combined against the different types of personalities and a fitting description of the criminal is able to be formulated. However, it is important to note that in any criminal profiling attempt, the criminal psychological mind must be described fully by their actions during and after the crime. For instance, if the criminal tried to hide something from the scene of crime, it probably would indicate that they are meticulous and therefore acquiring the criminal’s social disposition is very viable.
Criminal profiling is not just something that one as a law enforcement officer, jumps up to. It is usually done by forensic experts who have anatomical knowledge and are conversant with the criminal mind and culture. According to Fintzy (2000), it requires diligence, brainpower and the ability to query assumptions and presumptions. Thus a normal police officer would be confused when left to decipher the cause of a particular crime and would appear completely subdued if told to deduce the profile of the possible criminal. Criminal profiling itself as a process of deciphering criminals and their actions, began in 1969 and was advanced by the FBI (Turvey, 1997). According to many psychological experts on crime scenes, the scene of crime should and will always tell of the offender’s psychological disposition and whether or not they are organized or disorganized or just a mixture of both. In recent times, there have been speculations on whether it is just luck, subjective presumptions or is criminal profiling a true scientific answer to many tricky crimes? If asked the same question, I would perhaps reply by insinuating that while it may actually be luck profiling really helps in the narrowing down of the list of possible offenders and thus in my opinion it is quite effective. The purpose of this paper is thus to analyze in detail, whether or not criminal profiling is beneficial or is it just real science of wishful thinking?
How effective is Criminal Profiling in the Solving of Crimes?
Many critics of criminal profiling presume that criminal profiles are usually too big to create the desired picture and that it takes a little more than common sense to successfully profile a criminal. If we are to acknowledge that profiling is a science, then it is only so because psychology as a science comes into focus in the solving of crimes. It is and has been proven possible, that the psychological study of people helps in the determination of their behavioral dispositions accurately. Going from this statement, it is thus of...

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