Some people do not realize that when a serial killer, serial rapist or any other serious criminal is on the loose a specialist known as a criminal profiler is brought onto the case to “profile” the criminal. When a profiler is called into the investigation, long hours of work begin for he/she on the case. Examination of a lot of information is needed to even remotely start to profile a criminal and get it somewhat right. Tedious exams of crime scene photos, autopsy reports, police reports and if any victims or eye witnesses were present during the crime, profilers must interview them and access the reports.
The starting point of profiling a criminal is to examine the behavior of the criminal. For example: Where does he/she commit the crime? What specifics does the criminal do while committing the crime? Is there anything he/she leaves behind at the crime scene?
One of the most basic parts of criminal profiling is an APB (all points bulletin) which is basically very wide spread when it comes to the person. The APB will be put out by police in the area and facts such as car color, car make and model, and possibly the race and hair color or clothes color will accompany the announcement. This leads police sometimes to arresting a lot of people who have nothing to do with the crime at hand and wastes a lot of police hours that could be put to use finding the person that actually committed the crime.
The next stage of criminal profiling is the psychological profile of the criminal and crime committed. During this phase of criminal profiling begins when there is no physical evidence present or there is no eye witnesses. When this happens, the profiler takes what they know about the criminals actions and try to put additional information together. Profilers will take the state of the crime scene and try to make an educational guess. Most of these educational guesses include, education level, physical trauma during his/her childhood, and possibly where they live. Although the educational guesses are never 100% accurate, if the police have nothing to go on, this at least gives them somewhere to start looking.
Predictive profiling is more of a controversial technique. This happens when profilers attempt to guess what people are more likely to commit a crime that has not happened yet. This only happens when a profiler gives a certain scenario to a crime and attempts to guess at what people are most likely to commit the crime that has been played out in the scenario. Police then take that information and stay on the look-out for those who fit the description.
Racial profiling is a technique used in most cases when the suspect of the crime is completely unknown. Profilers attempt to learn the skin color and race of the criminal or suspect that committed the crime when there are no eyewitnesses or anything else to give the police an idea of who the person is.
While criminal profiling does add gender, race, or ethnicity to identify a criminal, this is only a small part of solving a crime. From the facts and figures, police is able to identify a type of person by gender, age, race, personality, social standing and possibly by any other characteristics involved. This could give a quicker resolution to the case or in some cases drag the case longer. With criminal profiling it is basically hit and miss, they take chances in hoping their so called guesses are accurate and the criminal will be caught before anymore harm is done.