Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using offender profiling techniques in the investigation of crime?
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Some advantages of profiling is that it may prevent a person from committing more crimes in the future because the person was apprehended faster. Another advantage of profiling is that investigators can gain more insight on criminal behavior.
A disadvantage of profiling is that people may match certain characteristics that the profiler is looking for but not be the criminal they are looking for.
An advantage is that if you know a lot about how a person has committed crimes in the past, you may also know where, when, and if they are likely to repeat their crimes. So the benefit is not only to catch someone who has done a single crime, it can help lay a trap of sorts before another attempt.
A weakness of profiling is that it gives investigators a pre-conceived idea of the type of person that has committed the crime. This may cause them to overlook or misinterpret evidence associated with the crime or possibly overlook a suspect simply because they do not fit the profile. The advantage could be that if statistics show that a certain profile is more likely to commit the crime, you can eliminate some "suspects" if they do not fit the profile. I also feel that profiling may lead to officers jumping to conclusions before they are ready to.
An advantage is that they can strengthen efforts and concentrate on predicted patterns to save resources. A disadvantage is that they might come up with the wrong suspect. This could lead to profiling for incorrect purposes.
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