Geographical Profiling | My Assignment Tutor

1Geographical ProfilingDr. Karen Shalev• Define terminology• Outline the theoretical concepts explainingspatial behaviour• Explore different computerised systemsused for geographical profiling• Identify how concepts and theory are beingimplementedA Psychological Profile“The identification of the majorpersonality and behavioralcharacteristics of an individual basedupon an analysis of the crime he orshe has committed.” (Douglas et al.,1986)2Profile Aims• What happened at the crime scene?• What type of person is most likely tohave done this?• What are the most likely personalitycharacteristics of such an individual?Geographical Profiling“An investigative methodology thatuses the locations of a connectedseries of crime to determine the mostprobable are of offender residence.”(Rossmo, 2000)Background– There is a relationship between crime andeconomical and social status. Differentareas have different levels of social andeconomical class.– Crime is affected by supply and demand.Unlawful activity will concentrate in areasthe law can’t reach.Why can we expect crime to becommitted in certain areas?3The Zonal HypothesisBackground• Progression from sociology• Understanding crime from the offenders’point of view• Looking at crime at city levelCrime TriangleCrimeTargetOffender Place4A crime site location(Holmes & Holmes, 2002)• encounter site – the location where the offender first contactsthe victim (perhaps a bar, a street or a park);• attack site – the location where the offender first attacks thevictim;• crime site – it is often the same as the encounter site;• victim disposal site – the location where the offender dumpsor releases the victim;• vehicle dump site – the location where the offender dumpsthe vehicle used in the crime.Activity 1• Please write a list of 10 locations youare likely to travel to on a given week.For example, place of work, shopping,family, gym, etc.• Rate the top 5 locations you travel tomost frequently in any given week.Routine Activity Theory• A suitable target is available• Lack of suitable guardian• Motivated offender5Routine Activity Theory(Criticism)• Descriptive• Focuses on motivation• Offenders as passive actorsRational Choice Theory• The offender as a decision maker• Purposive behaviour-goal orientedRationality• Some rules for evaluating the costs andbenefits of each alternative means soas to• Select the best or optimum solution tothe decision problem (McGrew andWilson, 1982)• A distinction between ends/goals on theone hand and means to achieve thosegoals on the other6Rational Choice Theory• Bounded rationality• Not fully informed• Subjective constraints• Diversity of motives• Satisfice (Simon, 1957)• A matter of degreeRational Choice theory(Criticism)• Ignores influence of emotions• Motive may be other than financial gain• Can not be empirically tested• Offenders meet constraints• Role of psychopharmacological agents• Spur of the moment• Convicted offendersJourney to CrimeCrime Type• Drug dealers vs drug traffickers (Ackerman &Rossmo, 2014)• Crimes against a person vs propertycrimes to Crime• Offender characteristics– Age– Gender– Ethnicity• Geographic characteristics andopportunity structureCriticism• Distribution of attractions is uneven• Access to vehicle• Direction of travel is asymmetrical• Relationship with elements within theirenvironmentModelling Spatial Behaviour• Crime as it occurs• Predicting the geographical area anoffender is likely to victimise• Opportunities and motivation• Mobility and perception• Criminal vs. non-criminal spatialbehaviour• Familiarity8Activity 2Imagine you are hosting someone from out of townand you want to explain to them where you live andplaces you often visit. On a black sheet of paper,please draw a map of your home in relation to the 10locations you wrote down in activity 1.• If you compared your map with a topographic map (forexample, Google map), how accurate is your map?• What do you think are the main differences between the twomaps?• How did you go about creating the map you drew? What kindof things did you think about? (for example, scale, order oflocations, etc)Modelling Spatial Behaviour• Psychological distance• Awareness space• Buffer zoneDistance Decaya b c9Crime Site Selection Model(Brantingham & Brantingham, 1981)Criticism• it is descriptive and there is no discussion of the actualdistances the offenders may travel;• they do not explain why an offender may expand his or herawareness space rather than remain within the original area;and• they do not account for those offenders who move to an areaquite distinct from their original awareness space, merelysuggesting that any change will be an extension of theoriginal area.• They don’t account or detail any changes to behaviour. Whileoffenders’ spatial behaviour has been proven to be fairlyconsistent over time, even a predictable person, whoseactions are highly repetitive, will someday change (Bernasco,2010).Investigative Psychology10The Circle TheoryKey Terms• Centre of Gravity/ Centroid• Mean interpoint distance (MID)Criminal GeographicalTargeting (CGT)• Applied in cases of– Serial murder– Serial rape– Serial arson– Serial robbery– Single auto theft– Single burglary11Geographical Profiling• Valid linkage• Valid geographic modellingLinking• Cross jurisdiction investigation• Intense public and political pressure• Change over time• False confessionsProbability• The offender’s residence is most likelywithin:– Middle intersection– The lunes– The circles– The background12RIGEL(Rossmo, 2000)Information Required for aGeographical Profile• A list of all locations connected to the crime• A street map with all locations marked• Case summaries• A criminal profile• The investigative officer’s business card• Any other relevant informationMultiple Anchor Points• Residence and work sites• Residence and social or family sites• Present and previous residences• 2+ offenders living apart13Training• 5 years working experience• 3 years investigative experience• Crime mapping experience• Computer literate• Mathematically competent• Above average oral and writtencommunication skills• 8-12 month studyDRAGNETEvaluation of Geographic Profiling• Effective mostly in serial crimes• Is reliant on police information• Offenders may have more than oneanchor point• Human judges not better thansoftware• Most studies are from Westerncountries14References• Koppen, M. V., Elffers, H., & Ruiter, S. (2011). When to refrain fromusing likelihood surface methods for geographic offender profiling: Anex ante test of assumptions. Journal of Investigative Psychology andOffender Profiling, 8(3), 242-256.• Paulsen, D. (2006b). Human vs. machine: a comparison of theaccuracy of geographic profiling methods. Journal of InvestigativePsychology and Offender Profiling, 3, 77-89.• Paulsen, D. (2007). Improving geographic profiling throughcommute/marauder prediction. Police Practice and Research, 8(4),347-357.• Snook et al (2004). Geographic Profiling: The Fast, Frugal, andAccurate Way. Applied cognitive psychology.18(1). 105-121.• Snook, B. Zito, M., Bennell, C. and Taylor, P. (2005). On the complexityand accuracy of geographic profiling strategies. Journal of QuantitativeCriminology, 21(1), 1-26.• Taylor, P. J., Bennell, C., & Snook, B. (2009). The bounds of cognitiveheuristic performance on the geographic profiling task. AppliedCognitive Psychology, 23(3), 410-430.New sources of information:• Andresen, M. A. (2014). Environmental criminology:Evolution, theory, and practice. Routledge.• Wortley, R. K., & Townsley, M. (Eds.). (2016). Environmentalcriminology and crime analysis (Vol. 18). Taylor & Francis.• Wortley, R., & Mazerolle, L. (2008). Environmentalcriminology and crime analysis: Situating the theory, analyticapproach and application. Environmental criminology andcrime analysis, 1-18.


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