Criminal Profiling and Criminal Investigation

Christopher Devery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A review of the development of criminal profiling demonstrates that profiling has never been a scientific process. It is essentially based on a compendium of common senseintuitions and faulty theoretical assumptions, and in practice appears to consist of littlemore than educated guesses and wishful thinking. While it is very difficult to find caseswhere profiling made a critical contribution to an investigation, there exist a numberof cases where a profile, combined with investigative and prosecutorial enthusiasm,derailed the investigation and even contributed to serious miscarriages of justice. As aresult, police agencies should carefully consider whether the development of in-houseprofiling capability, or use of external consultants to provide such services, is justified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-409
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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