An evaluation and comparison of claims made in behavioural investigative advice reports compiled by the National Policing Improvements Agency in the United Kingdom
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This study examined the content of a contemporary sample of behavioural investigative advice reports produced by the National Policing Improvements Agency (NPIA), formally known as the National Centre for Policing Excellence, and compared this sample with previous offender-profiling samples reported by Alison, Smith, Eastman, and Rainbow in 2003. Forty-seven reports written in 2005 were content analysed. The reports contained 805 claims, although 96% of the claims contained grounds for their claim, only 34% had any formal support or backing. In terms of confirmability, 70% of the claims were verifiable. However, only 43% were falsifiable, in that they could be objectively measured post-conviction. Analysis also showed that there were differences when comparing the different types of claims made (i.e. behavioural, temporal) and the different types of reports compiled by the NPIA (i.e. behavioural assessment report, linking report, etc.) Comparisons show that there is a very large positive difference between the contemporary behavioural investigative advice sample and previous non-NPIA expert advice in terms of the substantiveness of their arguments. Contemporary NPIA behavioural investigative advice has clearer boundaries around the claims made and presents material in a more coherent and evidence-based format than previous expert advice.
Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Psychology not elsewhere classified