Criminal Profiling Belief and Use: A Study of Canadian Police Officer Opinion

Brent Snook, Amanda Haines, Paul J. Taylor, Craig Bennell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fifty-one Canadian police officers, working in major crime divisions, were interviewed about their experiences with criminal profiling (CP), and their beliefs about its utility and validity. The majority of officers agreed that CP helps solve cases, is a valuable investigative tool, and advances investigator understanding of a case. Few officers agreed that CP should be used as evidence in court, should be used for all types of crimes, and that there is no risk of a profi ler misdirecting an investigation. Of those officers that used CP in an investigation, most indicated that it contributed to their investigation, that the profiler made accurate predictions, and that the profile was operationally useful. In sum, most officers appear to have accepted the utility and, to a lesser extent, the validity of CP, but believe that its application should be limited to
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Police and Security Services
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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