Geographic Profiling as an aid to crime investigations

For good results, geographic profiling requires at least five similar and distinct crime locations (Rossmo, 2000). Though it can be used on single isolated cases, the results are usually less accurate and this means that it is unsuitable for use in single isolated cases which are the ones commonly encountered in everyday policing. Another thing is that it is not suitable for gangs that are large due to involvement of people with different characteristics (Rossmo, 2000).

This is because geographic profiling is aided by a criminal profile which provides information on the background, personality as well as the level of organization of an offender after which a mental image of the person involved is formed and so if many people are involved, the method is less effective (Rossmo, 2000). This means that it cannot be used to help locate large gangs yet gang crimes are commonly encountered in everyday policing.

It also takes a lot of time-about two weeks per case which makes it unsuitable considering the many cases of crimes reported daily (Rossmo, 2000). Other areas where geographic profiling would be useful are investigations into series of kidnappings, series of bombings, serial burglaries, series of arson and serial bank robberies. Reference Rossmo, D. K. (2000). Geographic profiling. Florida: CRC Press.