What is the most important skill needed to catch a criminal?

Catching a criminal is not an easy task, and there are many skills required to perform this task. A criminal officer or a policeman possesses certain skills that help catch a criminal or stop a crime from happening.

There is a special team of investigating officers who work differently than ordinary police officers. This team of experts creates a profile of the criminal. There are various types of profiles which could be created when it comes to Profiling. Visit here to know about the different types of profiling and get a brief idea about profiling.

Profiling is an essential skill to catch criminals. We are going to discuss about Criminal Profiling which is also known as Offender Profiling. 

What is Criminal Profiling?

Criminal Profiling is a tool which is used by law enforcement agencies and intelligence officers to identify the likely subjects, and it is also used to link the cases that might have been committed by the same perpetrator. There is a possibility that multiple crimes point to a single offender and with the help of a profile, it becomes possible to predict the future actions of the offender.


Till the 1980s it was believed that Criminal Profiling is only useful in cases of sexual homicide but later on it was researched and found that it is also useful in the cases of arson, terrorism, and burglary.

Recently the researchers have linked the attempts of Profiling with Pseudoscience.

A criminal profile is created on the basis of the offender’s emotional, mental and personality characteristics. These things are identified on the basis of the things left at the crime scene or the things done.

Assumptions of Criminal Profiling

The two major assumptions which are made when it comes to criminal profiling are homology and behavioral consistency. Behavior consistency refers to the idea that the crimes of one offender are similar to one another. Homology refers to the idea that similar crimes are committed by similar offenders.

Approaches to Criminal Profiling

  • Criminal Investigative Approach
  • Clinical Practitioner Approach
  • Scientific Statistical Approach
  1. Criminal Investigative Approach
    This approach is mainly used by the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in the FBI. The BAU helps the law enforcement agencies by giving a review of the criminal act after analyzing the offender’s behavior during the crime and the interaction of the offender with the victim during the time of the happening of crime.
  2. Clinical Practitioner Approach
    This approach treats every case as unique. The profile created with this approach should include advice which is unique and not from a stereotype. It should be easy to understand for everyone and the elements included in the information should influence one another. This approach is also recognized as a Psychodynamic Approach.
  3. Scientific Statistical Approach
    This approach relies a lot on the analysis of behaviors and other information that is obtained from the crime scene to the offender’s characteristics. A new profile is created based on the elements which are included in the profiles of the previously caught criminals.

Steps of Criminal Profiling

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  1. Analyzing the criminal act and comparing it with similar crimes of the past.
  2. In-depth analysis of the crime scene.
  3. Consider the victim’s activities and backgrounds for knowing about the possible connections and motives.
  4. Consider other motives which are possible.
  5. Develop a description of the offender by comparing it with the previous cases.

Profiling is a very deep concept, and Criminal Profiling is a part of it. One requires a lot of skill to learn Profiling.



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