Differentiation

Although an offender's consistency is one of the starting points for empirically based models of investigative inference, in order to use these models operationally it is also necessary to have some indication of how offenders can be distinguished from each other. If every offender were consistent in the same way then the A v C equations would provide characteristics that were the same for every offender. In part this reflects a debate within criminology about whether offenders are typically specialist or versatile in their patterns of offending (Britt, 1996; Klein, 1984). Research tackling this problem has tended to support the contention thatthe majority of chronic criminals will commit a wide range of crimes and thus cannot be considered specialist, thereby making differentiating inferences extremely difficult. However, current research is suggesting that it is possible to model offender's behaviour in terms of both those aspects that they share with most other criminals and those aspects that are more characteristic of them. It is these rarer, distinguishing, features that may provide a productive basis for differentiating inferences.

Criminal versus Non-Criminal

Classes of Crime (e.g.

against property or person)

Types of Crime (e.g. arson, burglary, rape, robbery, etc.)

Patterns of Criminal Action

Modus Operandi

Types of Crime (e.g. arson, burglary, rape, robbery, etc.)

Patterns of Criminal Action

Modus Operandi

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