Criminal profiling involves analyzing the scene of a crime and then use the information gathered from the analysis to determine correctly the identity of a perpetrator. This method of identifying perpetrators is very useful though it does not assist an investigator in getting the name of the perpetrator it helps narrow down and thus makes it easier to identify a criminal. (Dennis, 2006) Some of the pertinent issues that criminal profiling helps in bringing out include but not limited to the sex of the perpetrator, the background of a person in terms of ethnic community, age and personality.
This profile is then used to single out a criminal among several people who appear to match with some of the features identified in the profile. One may wonder just how does criminal profiling work? Normally experts examine the manner in which a particular crime is committed. This is commonly referred to as the method of operations. Usually the experts will take the identity of the victims and then examine what the suspected criminals have in common especially in terms of the likely weapon that was used to commit the particular crime in question.
The other issue that the experts look at is the brutality or hostility that was used during the commission of the crime in question by the perpetrator. Existence of torture or any form of hostility is yet another trait that experts look for when using the criminal profiling method. One student in an American University during a lecture asked her professor why he believed that the criminal profiling method actually works in identifying a perpetrator in a criminal act.
The professor gave a precise answer and stated that thorough research has been carried out over the years and there have been conducted some interviews even with convicts who have helped prove the workability of this method. There are two main ways that are used to come up a criminal profile. One of the methods is one that is commonly used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation known as criminal scene analysis. This method involves a number of steps which include profiling inputs. This basically involves gathering evidence in terms of anything that was found in the scene of the crime.
The second step usually is to put the evidence together and try to see if there is any common aspect in the crimes committed by the suspects. Crime assessment and investigation follows and it is after that some apprehensions can be made based on the investigations. The second method is the behavioral evidence analysis. This method was developed by Brent Turvey who argued that when a crime is being investigated there are a lot of discrepancies that rise from all the gatherings that are made by the investigative team.
The first step is forensic analysis which involves analyzing physical evidenced gathered which may involve taking photographs and videos of the crime scene and having interviews with some of the victims of the crime who may be alive. Victimology is the nest step and involves creating a profile for a victim which in turn helps identify the criminal responsible. The third step is examining keenly the features and characteristics of the scene of crime as this is said to give a leading clue on who the suspect could be.
The last step is combining the first three steps discussed and it is this combination that helps the investigators come up with a criminal profile. According to Turvey a crime ought to be analyzed in four main steps to ensure that the information gathered by the investigative team does not bear any discrepancies. Criminal profiling has in several instances been criticized as a source that lacks credibility on the basis that it is based on speculations. However experts state that according to research that has been conducted for several years now, criminal profiling has a considerably high level of credibility.
Profiling involves a number of phases. The initial phase in every criminal profiling is known as antecedent which involves attempting to figure out the plan or the fantasy that the perpetrator of a crime had prior to the commitment of the crime. Basically this phase of criminal profiling involves an attempt to unearth the motive behind the commission of a crime by the perpetrator. The second phase is known as method and manner and involves examining the target group that the perpetrator was aiming at in the crime committed and more so the manner in which or better still the method used to commit the crime in question. Brent, 2002)
The third phase in criminal profiling is known as body disposal and is common in murder cases. This is where experts attempt to examine where the scene of crime is the same with the place where the body was dumped or whether the crime was committed at a particular place and then the body dumped in yet another place thus introducing the concept of multiple. (Davis, 2007) Post offense behavior is the final or the last phase in criminal profiling and it is quite tricky. Post offense behavior involves investigating behavior of criminals especially after commission of crimes.
Normally some criminals try to hide their identity by pretending to be part of the investigating team. Experts must therefore use their expert knowledge to single out criminals who pretend to be assisting in the investigation process yet they are the suspects. Having examined in great depths what criminal profiling is all about, it may be of paramount importance to address the issue of whether criminal profiling has managed to shape up chance. Basically by making this analysis we are able to know whether criminal; profiling does any play any vital role in helping to identify criminals in a given crime in question.
In simpler terms using criminal profiling as a method of identifying criminals what are the chances of identifying the suspect responsible in the criminal act at hand. In the beginning of the twentieth century, criminal law took a new twist with criminal profiling slowly shaping chance. Majorly what changed during the twentieth century was the inference in terms of probability. During this century actuarial methods changed. One thing to note that it is not the risk analysis and actuarial thinking that actually changed but the inferences in terms of probability.
The actuarial methods got more refined so that using the criminal profiling method one can be sure that the identity of a particular perpetrator is correct. In conclusion therefore it is correct to state that over the year and more so after the twentieth century, criminal profiling is slowly gaining acceptance as reliable method of correctly identifying perpetrators of crimes. This is because it has been studied and proved that it shapes chance so that the probability of a person to be the suspect of a crime in question having been pointed out by the criminal profiling method is very high.
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