Overcoming Negative Outcomes of Profiling
Investigators play a significant role especially in solving criminal cases by examining crimes and collecting evidence for documentation. Therefore, to avert or deter more crime from reoccurring, it is notable that profiling which is basically following up all crime scenes patterns and after that applies the acquired information to develop or create profiles. The rationale is to help law enforcers to be able to identify criminals that are unknown or impending criminal activity. However, it is notable that in profiling, investigators tend to be biased and when they visit a crime scene, they tend to be clouded by their own experiences and personal perspectives (Turvey,2012).This tends to produce adverse outcomes. A profiler or an investigator should not be ruled or directed by an individual or personal perspective, personal bias to influence the type of profile he/she will give out in the long run.
Generally, to prevent this type of negative perspectives or biased profiling, investigators there have to distinguish between personal perspective and the actual picture or situation at hand. To achieve this position, therefore, the investigators or profiler have to be trained professionally to make sure he/she can render their services in a professional manner (Turvey, 2012). It is notable that this biasness and personal perspective are usually as a result of insufficient training. It is worth noting that proper training is what informs an investigator’s insights, perception or biasness towards the offender’s behavior. A properly trained investigator will thus be able to identify the character, motive, and behavior of an offender and after careful analysis, place an informed profile.
In some cases, it is notable that investigators are human beings just like any other profession and they ascribe to their thoughts, and they have feelings, emotions. In the same breath, investigators have desires too which tends to be destructive when conducting profiling. In this sense, therefore, Kocsis and Palermo, (2015) recommend that investigators should also undergo a level of psychological counseling to ensure that they are competent enough and can conduct sober profiling without being biased or being guided by negative personal perspectives.
Furthermore, since investigators are equally law enforces, at times have to investigate and equally effect arrests. Thus as profilers, they have to be in rights mind, that is mental, health and physically. Therefore, the government should legislate a policy that will guide the investigators to conduct while profiling (Nadal et al., 2017). When a universal policy is legislated, there will be reduced biasness because of uniformity in the procedures, and there will be reduced cases biased perspective. Basically, when policies are in place, an investigator may be relieved of his duties on the realization that he or she is not in right conditions or recommend therapy and counseling as mentioned above therefore reducing the adverse outcomes.
In the same breath, it is notable that there is no law available that provides for how the investigators or profilers should handle offenders. Considerably, apart from policies, the government should put in place a legislative piece in the form of a statute that ensure there is a regulative law to guide investigators on the process of profiling. Equally these laws will provide support for the investigators and thus in the long will help reduce biasness and personal perspectives while solving a crime (Kocsis and Palermo, 2015). On the other hand, the statute will provide an avenue in which to form a board or an association of profilers. The board will therefore equally regulate on how profiling should be conducted without necessarily being biased.
Evolution of Technology in Regards to criminal profiling and forensic science, and how it is Used Today in Law Enforcement
Technologically, it is evident that since its invention decades ago, technology is ever dynamic and ever-changing. Before 1970s criminal profiling was unheard of thing, it was until the late 1970s when terms such as ‘serial killer’ came into existence. Since one cannot easily separate criminal psychology and forensic psychology, it is worth noting that both concepts have been evolving in the same line with the evolution of technology. It is evident that by 1974, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in attempt to create and compile a centralized database for analysis of crime formed Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) that was used investigate homicide and rape cases by interviewing criminals by matching the offenders with crime scenes. This process was the first computerized database system (Rogers,2016). The system came to refer to as the ViolentCriminal Apprehension Program (VICAP). Under VICAP, investigators would march and cross-reference information from criminals against their database thusunderstands the criminal pattern.
On the other hand, it is also evident that forensic science has been changing tremendously with the advancement of technology unlike in ancient days. Prior forensics were so frustrating; investigators did not have the technological know-how on how to conduct investigationscientifically, mostly some had the option of using a mere magnifying glass or own individualistic skills. However, as time lapsed, DNA strands skills analysis solved significant problems in solving complex criminal cases (Ribaux et al. 2016).
In the same breath, it is worth noting that criminality is also advancing with the advancement of technology. The contemporary world can boast further advancement such as what is experienced in chemical forensics which is the ability to detect impurities in chemicals thus able to find or trace criminals. Similarly, there is blood spatter improvements, an element that never existed 20 years ago(Ribaux et al., 2016). Similarly, in cyber hacking crimes, investigators can analyze and identify the perpetrators byusing the latest technological means which is a clear indication of technological improvements
Summarily, with the presence of improved technology that is present in forensics and general criminal profiling, it is evident that profiling today has become an easy task to the investigators unlike it was 20 years ago where profiling was either biased, or one had to rely on skills or perception. Fundamentally, with forensic technology, DNA profiling is used to trace individual at a crime scene, illicit drug profilingespecially by attracting chemicals thus trace the source, manufacturer or distributor of the drugs in an instance where it is a narcotics case (Brown, 2016). On the other hand, forensic technology helps in digital image forensic which is a critical tool in profiling such asgeneral offender profiling.
Generally, it is worth noting that science and technology have equally improved in how criminal profiling is conducted. For instance, computerized database systems have made it easier to profile. Currently, the FBI has a robust database where cross reference and match informationacquired from the scene of the crime and comparing it with the information in their pool of data stored in their systems electronically. Notably, by way of technology, a database kept is used primarily for DNA testing or profiling, factors such as fingerprints may be used even to map out crime-prone areas(Brown, 2016). Investigators today use robotics, body cameras and even flying drones, GIS and GPS systems to track criminals and crime scenes while conducting their work thus making a significant impact in profiling as compared to how the process would have been performed twenty years ago.
Brown, T. (2016). Forensic Palynology and Environmental Profiling in Missing Persons Investigations. In Handbook of Missing Persons (pp. 319-336). Springer, Cham.
Kocsis, R. N., & Palermo, G. B. (2015). Disentangling criminal profiling: Accuracy, homology, and the myth of trait-based profiling. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 59(3), 313-332.
Nadal, K. L., Davidoff, K. C., Allicock, N., Serpe, C. R., & Erazo, T. (2017). Perceptions of police, racial profiling, and psychological outcomes: A mixed methodological study. Journal of Social Issues, 73(4), 808-830.
Ribaux, O., Crispino, F., Delemont, O., & Roux, C. (2016). The progressive opening of forensic science toward criminological concerns. Security Journal, 29(4), 543-560.
Rogers, M. K. (2016). Psychological profiling as an investigative tool for digital forensics. In Digital Forensics (pp. 45-58). Syngress.
Turvey, E., Brent. (2012). A History of Criminal Profiling. 10.1016/B978-0-12-385243-4.00001-0.