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Is offender profiling reliable and what extent should it be used in police investigation? (Essay Sample)

Include the five factor model by David Canter and its relevance to aiding police during investigation source..

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Police Investigations
Criminal profiling is increasingly gaining attention from the academia and the showbiz sine the FBI first published details of its profiling principles. It has been taken up by movie makers in such films as X-Files and Silence of the Lambs. Nonetheless, beyond the pined pictures of the victim, which help to somehow to create sensation in these resources, have been few reliable criminal profiling classification designs. Since it started being used, the technique of criminal profiling has been described in several terms. For instance criminal personality profiling, criminal profiling, psychological profiling and even behavioral evidence profiling. Regardless though, criminal profiling as an investigative tool in policing is today entirely intuitive or hunch based and does not present the law enforcement agencies with a detailed fleshed out information about the behaviors of a suspected criminal. For instance, profiling accounts that have been published which details the methodology employed by the various individuals, have taken the form of journalistic articles and semi-autobiographical books rather than systematic academic work and are therefore difficult to evaluate from a scientific or accuracy point of view.
In that regard therefore, one major weakness of the current profiling methods is that all the profiles emphasizes on the various psychological functions the murder has for the offender and not what the varieties of action that make up the murder. In effect, these profiles tend to make little distinction between the actual scene of crime as the occur in murders and the psycho-dynamic processes that are considered in the accounting of or producing that behavior. As such, there is little attempt by those responsible for the profiling to differentiate between the lifestyle aspect of the suspects behavior and the aspects of suspect’s motivation.
Another major flaw with profiling is that many profilers consider profiling as a reconstruction of the crime scene, completely ignoring aspects of psychology. Most of the published accounts that claim ‘new’ findings in criminal profiling are usually part of a cultural baggage past down over time and are fraught with selective thinking and confirmed bias (Turvey, 1999). The current profiling efforts are anchored predominantly on opinions based on what been told in the past or written about. Profilers argue that patterns associated with serial offending happens as a result of recognizable mental disorder or illness and these disorders have a correlation with a personality theory. However, some profilers tend to guess the offenders motives based on his crime scene actions and it is this process that they refer to as behavior profiling. Profiling from a real behavioral approach should however consider the specific differences between the offences as opposed to offenders by looking at ...
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