Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages

Validity of Criminal Profiling

Criminal profiling is an approach law enforcer use to identify violent crime perpetrators by categorizing their behavioral features based on the examined crime committed. However, despite the application of this technique in identifying perpetrators of violent crimes, the profiler cannot show whether a specific offender was responsible for a specific crime (Turvey, 2020). The impossibility hence the lack of validity in criminal profiling is attributed to the process’s inability to indicate that a particular individual fits the profile of the crime committed. What happens is that by profiling criminals, a comprehensive suggestion of the type of an individual that might have committed the offense is given (Turvey, 2020). Moreover, the absence of scientific evidence that supports the technique in solving crimes is another indicator of the approach’s invalidity. While criminal profiling helps law enforcers to open up a new line of inquiry, its ability to solve a criminal case is founded on an exception instead of a rule.

Despite the dramatic and sensational aspects of criminal profiling depicted in several films, books, and television series, a sharp contrast exists between what the media shows and what happens in real life. Based on that difference, criminal profiling is not broadly recognized in the lawful and psychological societies to the degree that some courts have ruled the technique excluded (Turvey, 2020). As established, the reasons for ruling the approach inadmissible are the broad indication of the type of people that might have committed the crime and the lack of scientific evidence to support the technique (Turvey, 2020). However, in exceptional cases, it cannot be denied that criminal profiling has been proven a helpful technique in identifying criminal offenders. With that, there is a need for more research on criminal profiling as an approach to offender identification to earn its valuable place as a forensic technique (Turvey, 2020). Moreover, profiling variation has evoked some interest concerning psychological compilation specific to famous individuals in news media. However, in the criminal profiling case, the aspects of validity and reliability remain.

Criminal Profiling as Evidence Tool in the Courts

In the past, criminal profiling has been used as an evidence tool in the courts. Nonetheless, Turvey (2020) shows that it has been ruled inadmissible due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting its use. Further, criminal profiling is associated with generalizing criminal offenders, giving a broader sense of who might have committed the crime. The inability to provide specific detail into the profile of the criminal offender is reason enough why the technique should not be allowed in trials (Turvey, 2020). Backed by the lack of scientific evidence, it shows the possibility of bias when using the technique.

With that, individuals charged with a specific crime might fall into the broader category given by the profiling, yet they may not be the actual offenders of the crime. With the absence of the ability to narrow down a specific offender to a specific crime, the technique lacks investigative relevance (Turvey, 2020). Moreover, despite the provision of new avenues of inquiries, using the technique in trials might leave open the details of the case resulting in misinterpretation, which might be damaging to the case (Turvey, 2020). Therefore, the technique does not always provide valuable assistance in trials, another reason it should not be used.


Turvey, B. E. (2020). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis. 5thed. Academic Press.

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LawBirdie. (2023, July 7). Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved from


LawBirdie. (2023, July 7). Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages.

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"Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages." LawBirdie, 7 July 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages'. 7 July.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages." July 7, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages." July 7, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Criminal Profiling: Advantages and Disadvantages." July 7, 2023.