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Profiling

Profiling ties in with the larger police practice of wanting to predict criminal behavior in order to prevent a new or a future crime from happening. The frequency with which profiling has been used in criminal investigations, as well as the volume of literature addressing this topic, has grown steadily over the past 30 years, and profiling is now commonplace within police practices worldwide. This upward trend has occurred in the absence of a well-defined profiling framework or compelling scientific evidence that profiling, irrespective of its specific form, is reliable, valid, or useful. This entry introduces the concept of profiling in the light of prediction and discretion. In doing so, the entry pays specific attention to what can be seen as the most problematic ...

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