From the definition given above, it is clear that the fundamental role of profiling is to help investigators by reducing the possible pool of individuals they need to consider when seeking to identify an offender (in the case of forensic profiling). This is a point that Canter has made repeatedly (e.g. see Canter and Allison, 2000): that the value of profiling is in the practical implications it can have for police investigations, and therefore that its use in that context should influence decisions about what information to include in a profile. Hypothesising the internal state of an individual who might have committed a particular crime is not of enormous investigative value unless we can be sure that this state is permanent – or at least long-lasting – and that it predicts other more identifying factors, such as someone’s profession or location, or other crimes that they may have committed (Duff and Kinderman, 2008).
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