Crimes are committed so frequently, one will likely occur within seconds after reading this. To give you an idea as to how often they happen, we share with you some data the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has made available to the public that depicts “the relative frequency of how often violent and property crime offenses occurred in 2017.” During this year, “a violent crime was committed every 24.6 seconds, a murder occurred every 30.5 minutes, a rape every 3.9 minutes, a robbery every 1.7 minutes, and an aggravated assault every 39.0 seconds.”

The data also revealed that during that same year, “a property crime offense was committed every 4.1 seconds, a burglary every 22.6 seconds, a larceny-theft every 5.7 seconds, and a motor vehicle theft every 40.9 seconds.” While many of the perpetrators who commit crimes are either caught in their tracks or shortly after the commission of it, there are some that get away. And that brings us to the topic of criminal profiling.


What is criminal profiling?


Criminal profiling“involves the investigation of a crime with the hope of identifying the responsible party, that is, an unknown perpetrator, based on crime scene analysis, forensic psychology, and behavioral science” [Source: Psychology Today]. Various parties, including law enforcement, come together after a crime has been committed to try and piece together what happened, who did it, and why.

Investigators will use the evidence that has already been uncovered to try and create a description of the offender using factors such as “antisocial personality traits, psychopathologies, or certain behavioral patterns, as well as demographic variables including, age, race, and geographic location.” The FBI typically uses criminal profiling in three phases of the criminal justice process which includes the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution phase [Source: Psychology Today].

The Investigation Phase

During the investigation phase, investigators will use profiling to determine if the crime committed is linked to any others as well as “predict the personality and lifestyle characteristics of an unknown perpetrator.” This phase is also used “to develop strategies to apprehend the unknown criminal.”

The Apprehension Phase

In the apprehension phase, officials use profiling to predict where to search for a serial criminal that has yet to be identified, “to determine what information should be included in a search warrant, and how he/she may react upon apprehension.”

The Prosecution Phase

Investigators attempt to link crimes together in court using “forensic evidence to connect an alleged perpetrator to a series of crimes” or one crime.


Does criminal profiling ever lead law enforcement to the wrong person?


Although criminal profiling has led to the arrest of many dangerous individuals including the legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper, there are times when police convict the wrong person.In fact, “a total of 166 wrongly convicted people whose convictions date as far back as 1964 were declared innocent in 2016” [Time Magazine]. Sometimes, this happens when investigators become so eager to solve a crime that they make the wrong connections or simply want the case to an end.

If you believe a relative was wrongfully arrested and/or imprisoned, a police brutality attorney is available to defend their rights and freedom. To find a police brutality lawyer in your area who is qualified to help you, contact

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