Crime linkage analysis (or linkage analysis) is a technique used by police practitioners to assist them in determining whether multiple crimes have been committed by the same offender. The term is typically used to refer to techniques that rely on behavioral information to make linkage decisions rather than physical evidence, such as DNA, fingerprints, or fibers. Linkage analysis is thought to rely on two assumptions: that offenders exhibit similar behaviors across the crimes they commit (behavioral consistency) and that not all offenders commit their crimes in the same way (behavioral distinctiveness). Under conditions where some degree of behavioral consistency and distinctiveness exists, linkage analysis should be possible. This entry focuses on the importance of linkage analysis, the various types of linkage tasks that police ...

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