The latest in my ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ series – taken from The Great Courses’ “Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works” (Lecture 27 – Profiling)
- Profiling only has one job – to reduce a suspect pool to a more manageable (ie: smaller) size. Trained profilers attempt to identify the characteristics of a perpetrator only, they’re not involved in final individual selection/s.
- The FBI first coined the phrase ‘offender profiling’ to refer to the act of using clues from a crime scene to infer what kind of characteristics and offender might have.
- Profiling was first formally used in the 1960s but is now used every day – routine traffic stops, airport screenings.
- According to an official statement from the FBI, profiling is ‘an art, not a science. It applies only to the interpretation of the offender’s behaviour in the commission of a crime, to determine the unknown offender’s personality traits and characteristics’
- Results of profiling (and therefore behavioural profilers) are not permitted in court proceedings unless it’s being used to describe the investigative process. Only the facts go to court.