The paper covers the subject of victimology; it offers an introduction to the field as such and discusses the approach to crime investigation based on the victim’s profile. It mentions various approaches to evaluating the victims profile from the general biographic view, onto the victimization in itself, then the personality aspects, as well as the environment classification to the issue of the offense. The paper covers in broad terms essentially significant portion to what may contribute in coining an effective victimology. Victimology Victimology “Is the study of the victim or victims of a particular offender.
It is defined as “the thorough study and analysis of victim characteristics” (Turvey), and may also be called “victim profiling” (Holmes)””. The emphasis for a an effective victimology arises from the circumstance that the victim in itself constitutes an approximate half of the offense and is as much involved as the presence and significance of crime scene, witnesses and weapons. The significance of the victim is at its most when the victim in itself is alive, and is able to provide the eye witness account regarding the offense, including details such as physical description and behavioral demeanors of the offender.
Other than the aspects mentioned above the victim’s characteristics such as life style and idiosyncrasies may prove to be a valuable input, it may provide important information in respect to past activities, which may lead gradually towards the creation of a suspect list. According to Ressler: the victim has been a subject of neglect in the police investigations and at time of consulting the victims’ profile, the profile is regularly found missing from the investigation reports.
However, this does not conclude that police services do not regard victim information as significant, until recently victims profile has received significantly low attention. Victimology is the most appropriate approach to approach the profile and most effective in classifying and solving a crime. In the most ideal situation the following information should be available for the profiler before initiating the formal investigation (Turvey, Holmes): “Criminal justice system history Occupation
Last known activities, including a timeline of events Education Personal diaries (if known and available) Medical history Map of travel prior to offence Drug and alcohol history Physical traits marital status Friends and enemies Family background” The above list is not exhaustive, each scenario presents its own requirements and procedure as well as feasibility.
A few important questions as mentioned in the sources are mentioned below, though it still is not comprehensive, the requirements vary from situation to situation, but still these remain the sources that would be contacted: • “Why was this particular person targeted? • How were the person targeted, or was the person a victim of opportunity? • What are the chances of the person becoming a victim at random (and therefore opportunistic)? • What risk did the offender take to commit the crime? • How was the victim approached, restrained and/or attacked? • What was the victim’s likely reaction to the attack?
“ The answers to these questions generally provide the information about the offender’s motive and possibly his or hers uniqueness in carrying out the offense. This eventually leads to an investigation into the perspective background of the offender as well as the awareness of forensic and police investigation techniques and technologies, possible occupation, physical appearance and social skills (often recognizable if the offender chooses to lure the victim verbally, towards the offender’s comfort zone, in order to carry out the offense in a safe manner).
Such information has the potential to be cross matched with eye witness accounts and cross verify alibis and information presented by the crime scene. If the information cross verifies it obvious validates the direction of the investigation other wise there remains a need for search of further missing links. The three main issues that can be provided by victimology are context, investigative direction and connections.
(Turvey)Context reveals the scenario, which exposes the opportunities prevalent for the crime to be carried out and who had the most ease of exploiting the opportunity, connections reveals enmity as well as the level of information known in the society regarding the victim, investigative direction is reinforced on the basis of the victims profile, offenders characteristics and the available evidence on the crime site. Risk assessment involves evaluating the risk of an individual to be prone o becoming a victim.
This may contrast with the statement that the perpetrator went to great lengths to get his quarry, in other cases it may be heard that the perpetrator acquired a victim of opportunity. It does not suggest that the victim intentionally made itself prone to victimization; however it does indicate the offender level of motivation and approach as well as providing a classification of the victims to a particular offender. Victims risk is often associated with someone coming to harm on the basis of their personal, professional and social life.
An example of a person at high risk would be some one such as a prostitute constantly exposed to a large number of strangers may late at night be traveling alone, in contact with drug users, may be of low priority to police and will not be registered missing until significant period of time. Some one of significantly lower levels of risk may be a person with a steady job, loads of friends, does not travel alone and not having a predictable traveling schedule..
Factors as mentioned by Turvey which may substantiate the risks portrayed by an individual’s life style include: “Aggressiveness Anger Emotional outbursts Hyperactivity Impulsivity Anxiety Passivity Low self esteem Emotional withdrawal” To describe one such instance, an individual most likely to burst out of the house during a fight in order to “cool down”. While out, the person encounters an offender who carries out an assault on him or her.
The individual’s emotional outburst has contributed to his/hers becoming a victim, while the others are lead to believe that the victim will not be back in hours, as is the usual course following a disagreement. This provides the offender ample time to flee. Hence following the direction portrayed above, victims risk is also determined as a significant portion of the victimology by the individual’s state of mind and the hazards in the environment.
For instance a person, just been fired from a job, preoccupied with paying off his financial commitments may fail to take into account extraordinary or dangerous elements in the surroundings. The importance of the victim in itself can be hardly understated from the fact that the victim may have too many acquaintances to determine a suspect may seem to be initially too great an ask. However, if seen conditionally the victims profile tends to provide an intricate picture of the possible reasons, suspects and the location of the offense often is complemented by the victim’s personality and life styles.
It is essential to take into account the various facets displayed by the victims individuality rather than to conduct investigation based on what the crime scene has to portray, initiating from the point where the scene is conducted the investigator tends to get acquainted to the offender, the selection of the victim, the luring of the victim to a convenient location to carry out the offense as well as the style of execution are all missing links requiring precise attention to lead to an accurate solution.
Bibliography Wayne,Petehrick(2007)CrimeLibrary. com. Retreived:February,20,2007, Website:http://www. crimelibrary. com/criminal_mind/profiling/victimology/1. html Wayne,Petehrick(2007)CrimeLibrary. com. Retreived:February,20,2007, Website: http://www. crimelibrary. com/criminal_mind/profiling/victimology/2. html Wayne,Petehrick(2007)CrimeLibrary. com. Retreived:February,20,2007, Website: http://www. crimelibrary. com/criminal_mind/profiling/victimology/5. html