Geographic Profiling for Serial Crime Investigation
D. Kim Rossmo (Texas State University, USA), Ian Laverty (ECRI, Canada) and Brad Moore (Ontario Provincial Police, Canada)
Copyright: © 2005
This chapter describes the technique and application of geographic profiling, a methodology for analyzing the geographic locations of a linked series of crimes to determine the unknown offender’s most probable residence area. The process focuses on the hunting behavior of the offender within the context of the crime sites and their spatial relationships. Rather than pinpointing a single location, it provides an optimal search strategy by making inferences from the locations and geometry of the connected crime sites. Geographic profiling can therefore be thought of as a spatially based information management tool for serial crime investigation. Tools based on geographic information systems (GIS), such as the Rigel geographic profiling system, allow the rapid computation and visualization of the geographic profile as a three-dimensional probability surface, which can then be combined with other geographically based information to narrow the offender search parameters for the criminal investigator.