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Psychology Py4 Discuss the Methods of Approaches to Offender Profiling

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Discuss the approaches to offender profiling
When solving a crime, police investigate a number of different factors and different types evidence which could have a possible lead to how and by who the crime was conducted. This could include DNA tests, finding finger prints and blood stains as well as fibres from clothes. These methods are seen as useful however it tends to become a problem when a lot of people are required to be tested in order to find a match. A new method is required where the list of possible suspects is narrowed down to a much smaller group, making it easier to find possible matches. This is referred to as offender profiling which narrows down the range of suspects, by picking up on certain behaviours, actions and the likely circumstances of the criminals. All information about a crime, the crime scene, it’s victim, and anything other of relevant, is put together to create a profile of the perpetrator.
There are generally three types of approaches to gender profiling, initially started by the FBI as the US ‘top-down’ approach, during the 1970’s. They began with ‘crime scene analysis’ – the idea that evidence from the crime scene is compared to that of others, to identify any patterns, and predict whether it’s likely for it to happen again. Douglas and Ressler conducted 36 extensive interviews with convicted serial killers and rapists; some were well known for example Charles Manson. The information that they had gained for the interviews effectively enabled them to identify major personality and behavioural characteristics possessed by serious offenders as well as seeing how they differed in comparison to the general public. The results eventually formed the base of the national database set up in 1985, where psychological profiles of criminals were created, with combined information and reports given by police, regarding crime scenes, the victim and other significant details. Furthermore, two types of typologies were created. Once all information has been collected, they are classified into these two types: organised and disorganised. It was evident that the murders that had been classified as ‘organised’ had planned out the crime, attempted to control the victim, victims were usually targeted strangers, and there were a few clues left behind.

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