Mining Police Digital Archives to Link Criminal Styles with Offender Characteristics

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The partial success in inferring the characteristics of offenders from their criminal behaviour (‘offender profiling’) has relied on limited data and subjective judgments. We therefore sought to determine if Information Retrieval techniques and in particular Language Modelling could be applied directly to existing police digital records of criminal events to identify significant characteristics of offenders. The categories selected were gender and age group. Results showed that distinct differences in characteristics do exist.