Using Offender Profiling In Police Investigations Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Crime, Victimology, Criminal Justice, Social Issues, Behavior, Police, Linkage, Investigation

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/08

Importance of Offender Profiles in Police Investigation

Importance of Offender Profiles in Police Investigation


In current years, there exist more individuals who have become progressively riveted by offender profiling due to the impact of media. An instance of this is the renowned criminal profiling movie The Silence of the Lambs that is grounded on the Thomas Harris novel. Several television shows for instance Millennium, The X-Files and Profiler are as well founded around the basis of criminal profiling. However, it is evident that these depictions encourage the outlook of profiling as merely an art other than a discipline, though these profiles possess academic experiences and law execution experience. The incidence of criminal profiling has developed over the preceding three decades. This is despite the fact that profiles are found to be more effective as an added tool, not as an answer to particular crimes.

The use of offender profiling may seem to be extra beneficial than depending merely on traditional means of detection. Furthermore, it is vital for police investigators to identify which crimes are related in order to order and compare the evidence between these linked cases. Offender profiling is explained by various authors using diverse terminologies for instance, psychological profiling, definite profile analysis, criminal character profiling and criminal profiling. Nevertheless, the fundamental concept of explanations remains alike (Palermo and Kocsis, 2005).

Police investigation strategies

Police detectives are constantly required to emphasize their investigative labors to isolate crimes enacted by the same criminal, since common crimes originate from the less common offenders. Case linkage may thus be applied to scrutinize the probability of a sequence of crimes being perpetrated by the same anonymous criminal when missing appropriate physical proof, for instance DNA evidence. Crime experts analyze criminality scene actions so as to deliberate whether there exist some parallels in conducts committed by a common criminal (Palermo and Kocsis, 2005). In addition, linkage analysis is able to ascertain connections between similar crimes perpetrated by dissimilar offenders.

Offender proofing usefulness

Offender profiling basically rests on crucial conventions so as to make profiling possible. The first one involves the behavioral consistency theory, which implies that if sequential offenders enact similar crimes, they should display behavioral consistency. The variant in behavior a criminal shows should be less compared to the deviation in behavior of diverse offenders. The second theory, namely 'homology assumption', necessitates that comparable offense behavior of two criminals will match parallel characteristics. Furthermore, the course of case linkage as well rests on crucial assumptions that are two in number (Kocsis, 2007). The first assumption is the criminal consistency premise, similar to the first theory of profiling. The second hypothesis indicate that there exists a disparity in the manner in which diverse offenders commit crimes. Therefore, for offender profiling to be conceivable to link crimes that are enacted by the same wrongdoer, felons must conduct themselves in a steady but distinct manner.

Use of offender, character in investigation

When it comes to the behavioral consistency hypothesis, it is theorized that every person has a mental-affective character system that would have an impact on the behavior formed in a particular situation. This theory suggests that when individuals encounter circumstances that have a comparable psychological sense to them, they basically yield similar conduct.
Whether criminals show additional consistency in certain criminal behavior compared to others, they also obtain great scrutiny. Investigators group the precise offender conducts into spheres, linking with others so as to explore whether criminals show greater behavior consistency through their sequence of crimes (Williams, 2012). Particular studies have proved that crimes enacted by the same criminal can be distinguished from criminalities by different offenders.

Ineffectiveness of offender profiling in police investigations

On the other hand, despite the effectiveness of offender profiling, persons may be over enthusiastic for profiling since it has fascinated such extensive public interest. It is also worth noting that a profile may infrequently solve a delinquency or detain an offender by itself, nevertheless, it is intended to be a support to the probing police. Profiling specialists also assert agreeably that criminal profiles are just another investigative support and are not entirely destined to lead wholly to the detention of offenders (Williams, 2012).


In conclusion, profiling as a supplementary instrument plays an essential role in delinquency investigations, particularly in serial crimes. Studies propose that profiles may offer more precise profiles compared to non-profilers. Case linkage presents a good technique to organize and associate the information among connected cases, hence, investigative labors can be joined and officers may evade the recurrence of investigations. Most police detectives would look for profiling guidance as well as case linkage due to the settlement of their effectiveness. Nevertheless, over-optimistic dream of profiling besides case linkage must be concerned since they don’t constantly have intense and successful outcomes, although many resolved cases are credited to criminal profiling as well as case linkage.


Kocsis, R. N. (2007). Criminal profiling: International theory, research and practice. Totowa, N.J: Humana Press.
Palermo, G. B., & Kocsis, R. N. (2005). Offender profiling: An introduction to the sociopsychological analysis of violent crime. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas.
Williams, K. S. (2012). Textbook on criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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