Though good as an investigative aid, use of geographic profiling is usually limited when the offender is operating from another anchor point that is away from their area of residence. This is because geographic profiling assumes that when an offender is away from home, they are less likely to engage in crime and that there is usually an interaction between the offender and the victim in terms of space and time which usually results from the offender’s routine (Kocsis, 2007). An example is when an offender commits crimes when visiting relatives.
Its effectiveness is also limited in cases where an offender operates from several anchor points as its aim is usually to locate the most probable location of the offender. For example with offenders who move from one hotel to another and have no particular place of residence. When it comes to detection and apprehension of commuter criminals, geographic profiling is usually ineffective. The reason being, geographic profiling relies on research evidence that has shown that many offenders commit crimes close to their home area and this forms one of the assumptions of geographic profiling (Kocsis, 2007).
While investigations based on this assumption have yielded excellent results, some offenders do show characteristics that differ from this and so if an offender travels a long distance from their home to commit crimes then goes back home, computerized geographic profiling will be less effective in identification of the most probable location of the offender as it will be focusing on the area around crimes (Kocsis, 2007). Reference Kocsis, R. N. (2007). Criminal profiling: International theory research and practice. New Jersey: Humana Press.
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