Discussion of Whether Criminal Profiling is Still Relevant

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 621 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2021

Words: 621|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Oct 25, 2021

Criminal profiling is a strategy used by police and investigators in criminal cases such as rape, murder, and abduction. However, since the late 1990s criminal profiling was extended to other criminal cases like arson, terrorism, and burglary. Most people have an understanding of criminal profiling from the popular TV shows CSI, Coldcase SVU, Bones and Mindhunters, etc. All these TV shows are great, gripping and exciting and make the viewers feel like they are a detective. Whilst watching these shows and how they manage to solve all different cases with very little/ to no evidence is fantastic, but have you ever stood back and thought, if criminal profiling is that great then why are there so many unsolved cases in the world? And is criminal profiling still relevant? It turns out that all policing around the world uses the same 7 step strategy which are:

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  1. Step 1 - Gather all evidence that is identified from the scene, the victim, the suspect and from other sources.
  2. Step 2 - All gathered information is then assessed.
  3. Step 3 - The suspect is then fixed into a category “organized offender” or “disorganized offender”, there is a third category which is “mixed offender” for when the suspect cannot be categorized into the other two categories. 
  4. Step 4 - The reconstruction of the crime. The situation of the crime is developed from the beginning as far as possible. 
  5. Step 5 - Profiling of potential suspects. 
  6. Step 6 - Statements and alibis are taken from the suspects. 
  7. Step 7 (final step) - After appearing in court with all found evidence being presented, the criminal is then sentenced and sent to prison. 

The steps seem to cover the cases from beginning to end and do not appear to be over complicated. This strategy has had very little changes to it since it was put into action in 1973, surely if the criminal profiling was so heavily flawed there would have been drastic changes put in place so it is looking like the “ if it’s not broke, then, don’t fix it” method.

On the flip side of the above, there was a study in which police assessed 192 profiles made by the FBI. Out of the 192 profiles, 17% helped in identifying suspects, 83% of police officers thought that the profiles were useful despite the profiles only helping in solving 14% of cases, making a total of 5 arrests out of 184 cases which gives it a success rate of 2.7%. Not great results for criminal profiling in that study. How about another study that is called “Coals to Newcastle, Part 1, study of offenders” by Gary Copson. In which an experiment was conducted, they took two fully operational police stations, trained one to use a new statistical approach to criminal profiling that had to be strictly adhered to. The other police station was left alone to continue using the normal standard approach to criminal profiling. In the end, the results had shown that the police station using the new statistical approach had a rise of 260% more crimes being solved compared to the station using the standard approach. The standard criminal profiling described is known as the “traditional” criminal profiling technique. However, it would appear that there remain to be a lot more studies and research needed to be done to examine the reliability and validation of criminal profiling. 

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The traditional technique seems to be a hit or a miss, which maybe suggests that the traditional technique is too broad and that they should put the cuffs on it and come up with a new set of procedures that they will have to strictly. The way criminal profiling is applied to cases today seems not to be consistent enough for an investigation tool that is used worldwide.

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Discussion Of Whether Criminal Profiling Is Still Relevant. (2021, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
“Discussion Of Whether Criminal Profiling Is Still Relevant.” GradesFixer, 25 Oct. 2021,
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