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Geoprofiling And Statistical Data In Criminal Profiling

Geoprofiling and Statistical data is a method used by investigative departments in fighting crime. It tries to establish the connection between the crime committed and the location where the crime was carried out. It mainly focuses on the behavior of the criminal, the characteristics of the offenders as well as the psychological profile. This paper will specifically try to assess whether this method is of any value, assess is pitfalls and suggest what could be done to improve it.

As an investigative method of fighting crime, the method has proved to be a useful tool in establishing the possible location of an offender especially if the offender is unknown, their place of work and the social venues they frequent are unknown. The method is said to reduce criminal’s search area by 90 percent. The method serves as the starting point of an investigative process in cases with no leads and has proved to be an effective method in establishing their comfort zones.

This is based on the believe that most criminals tend to commit crimes within their comfort zone which is in most cases not far away and again not too close from their place of residence (GIS Lounge. 2002). A case in point to show that indeed the method is practical is the one that happened in 1995 in Abbotsford municipality where two girls were attacked by an assailant at night. One girl was killed while the other was left for the dead. After this, the killer started making vague phone calls to 911.

A few days later, he stole the deceased girl’s grave stone and destroyed it. As if this was not enough, he threw a note to somebody’s house tied around a wrench admitting how he assaulted people sexually. His actions led the Abbotsford police to scale down the criminal’s residence to thirteen places when geoprofiling was done. The method proved very effective as it had put his home among the 7. 7 percent that were considered to be the likeliest residence of the said criminal and eventually the criminal was arrested within this locality (Schomburg et al, 2008; 115).

The method has specifically been used in tracing serial killers. For the simple reasons that this method is cheaper, accurate, efficient and cost effective unlike other computer programs like dragnet that are used, the Federal investigation Bureau, the New York Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Scotland Yard use it in tracking criminals within their jurisdictions (Petherick, 2005; 116).

This method alone cannot be used to arrest the suspected criminals and therefore it should be used as a complimentary method for effective results to be achieved. One notable shortcoming arising from its use is that it does not dwell much on the available potential criminal records and thus it becomes quite hard to differentiate between two criminals operating in the same locality (Petrocelli, 2008).

This method also assumes that the offender lives within or close to the crime scene but this is wrong because the criminal might be using information given by their accomplices and then to act on it. Once the crime zone or what is termed as jeopardy zone is established, a computer software known as ‘Rigel’ then comes in handy but the problem is that very few detectives are able to use it and thus it cannot be relied solely as a crime fighting tool for example, it is only four police officers in the United Kingdom that are trained to use it (Petherick, 2005).

If this method is to produce better results then, it should properly utilize the detectives’ investigative knowledge, it should not only rely on the locality of the criminal but should also look at the psychological profile of the suspected criminal and the officers in charge should be able to apply scientific and geographical skills in geoprofiling and should also closely look at the statistical information of both the detected and undetected cases that happened in the past (GIS Lounge, 2002).

Geoprofiling and Statistical data in Criminal Profiling as a method of fighting crime has in the past been used by various police departments such as the Federal Investigation Bureau, the Scotland Yard and the New York Police Department as a method of fighting crime. The method has proved to be effective and has led to the arrest of some criminals who were unknown and a case in point is of a killer who was arrested by the Abbotsford police department.

However, though this is the case, the method has been criticized for solely relying on the location of the offender and ignoring other inklings that could pin point the criminal. References: GIS Lounge. 2002. Geo Profiling. Retrieved at http://gislounge. com/geoprofiling/ Petrocelli J. 2008. Geo-Profiling: Technology isn’t always the best solution. Accessed from http://www. officer. com/web/online/Editorial-and-Features/Geo- Profiling/19$36899 Petherick, Wayne. 2005. Serial Crime: Theoretical and practical issues in behavioral profiling. Available at http://books.

google. co. ke/books? id=U3- zunZ5eF4C&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=GeoProfiling,+FBI&source=bl&ots=k 47grcHGy2&sig=u0K1TINdHmEv5RZG9mfpvkSl9Ww&hl=en&ei=ENJpStO4P MP4-Abwv7CMCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9 Schomburg, G. , Hazelwood, R. R. and Burgess, A. W. 2008. Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation CRC Press. Available at http://books. google. co. ke/books? id=iV398oA5DdsC&pg=PA159&lpg=PA159&d q=GeoProfiling+,+criminal+caught&source=bl&ots=P1Zy7iXE9C&sig=o_ypY5 2_WL0Dzj0zHN8q9ott3uM&hl=en&ei=suhpSu29Go3J- QbfrpmMCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10

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