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This Describes The Difference Between The U.S. And The U.K's Way Of Using Offender Profiling

947 words - 4 pages

Consider psychological studies of offender profiling.A definition of offender profiling is often illusive, but a loose description of the term is to identify physical, personality and psychological characteristics of a person based on their offence. The term was coined by the FBI but in Europe it is defined by "attempting to produce a description of the offender on the basis of evidence from the crime scene and other background information" (Stevens, 1995). An example of offender profiling is when the police determine whether an offender is organised or not, and then to understand whether they may have links to organised crime circles, or perhaps the crime was an opportunity crime, and the ...view middle of the document...

A good example of this type of offender profiling was in the 1980s when 24 sexual assaults were committed around the railways in North London. 3 murders were also committed and forensic evidence and analysis of the modus operandi strongly suggested that there were links between the rapes and the murders. When an offender profiler joined police teams they compiled the evidence in a comprehensive, chronological order, with detail to try to understand if there was a pattern. From the evidence from the raped women, (what the offender had said) and the circumstances of the rape, the offender profiler determined that the man dubbed the 'railway rapist' was probably married, or in a relationship, lived in the area, had knowledge of the railway and probably had committed violent acts, known by the police. John Duffy was originally a long way down the list of possible perpetrators of this crime, but the profile helped the police to make their way to try to eliminate him from their enquiries. John Duffy was the 'railway rapist' and was subsequently put into prison. He was a carpenter for British rail, had split from his wife, had a criminal record (raped his wife) and lived in the area circumscribed by the first few offences. The offender profile in this case was a complete success.The other approach to offender profiling is the American 'top-down' approach. This approach acts on a schema previously set by other offenders. American psychologists conducted painstakingly detailed interviews with incarcerated prisoners jailed for murder involving a sexual motive. Particularly famous offenders whom they interviewed type were Ted Bundy and Charles Manson. This data was collated with other data gained from the FBI's behavioural science department to...

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