What do we mean by “Geographic Profiling ?

In our Course on “Criminal Profiling” at Police Science Institute, we instruct that in order for a Criminal Profile to be successfully generated, the mobility of a perpetrator must be carefully considered and objectively analyzed.  


Quite often, non-profilers are often misinformed as to the true meaning and purpose of this aspect … that being to identify an offender’s Modus Operandi (MO) with regard to geographic (spatial) factors. 

Despite being all-too-often ignored, disregarded, and, not receiving the proper attention due, Geographic Profiling is in fact a highly useful, and, even a case-breaking, tool in the Criminal Profiler’s arsenal.


We may broadly define Geographic Profiling to be “an information-management strategy designed to support serial, violent crime investigations”.     This area of criminological specialty actually has its origin and foundation from D. Kim Rossmo’s early studies, research and publications.   


Since then, Geographic Profiling has evolved into an important service that is today provided by numerous, world Law Enforcement Agencies such as the U.S. FBI, the British New Scotland Yard, the Vancouver Canada Police Department, and, the Italian U.A.C.V. (to mention only a few).


The first Geographic Profile was successfully reported in the U.S. in 1990.   Today, Geographic Profiling is applied in cases such as serial murders, kidnappings, serial arsons, serial rapes, bombings, serial sexual assaults, sexual homicides and bank robberies, etc.


Geographic Profiling focuses upon the probable geographic (spatial) behavior of the offender within the context of the locations of, and, spatial relationships between, various crime sites.  The location of a crime site is viewed as a very important clue, in that it provides valuable information to case Investigators.


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