It has fallen to me to deliver this closing
address to our annual conference of the National Association for
Many of you will recall the dark days of
just a few years ago - a time when it was impossible to commit
more than a mere handful of serious crimes without the police
turning up on the doorstep. They seemed to know the address,
gender, age, eye colour and preferred football team of each
perpetrator, and we had no idea how they did it.
Then came the writings of Thomas Harris and
films such as Silence of the Lambs that revealed
psychological profiling to us all. Since then, there have been TV
series such as Cracker and numerous Channel 5
documentaries which have explored this process in detail.
Finally, in the mid-nineties, the NADP was formed, which allowed
this information to be disseminated and anti-profiling
strategies to be developed.
We discovered at an early stage that
profiling defined all perpetrators as either single loners
in their twenties or thirties or seemingly happily
married men in their fifties. It is particularly
heartening, therefore, to have seen so many young women and
pensioners at this conference. They, of course, have an advantage
in constructing an anti-profile. However, you men in the classical
categories can now do much to develop a modus-operandi that bears
no relation to the stereotypes painstakingly assembled by the FBI
and others with reference to thousands of previous crimes.
Mapping has been a spectacular case in
point. We know, to our cost, that perpetrators traditionally
committed their first crime in the next street to the one in
which they lived and subsequent crimes in a regular pattern at an
increasing radius from their homes. It became possible for a
profiler with a map, ruler, pencil and an elementary knowledge of
geometry to precisely locate the perpetrators favourite
armchair in front of his television. The ability of our members
to now select the location of their crimes based on randomly
generated postcodes has caused profilers to seek the services of
professors of mathematics in analysing increasingly complex
patterns which do not exist. Indeed, our Prize for Innovative
Psychopathy this year was awarded to our member who selected a
genuinely happily married man in his fifties and then committed a
crime in the next street to the one in which he lived and
subsequent crimes in a regular pattern at an increasing radius
from his home.
Another breakthrough has been discovery of
the profilers golden rule which states that the
perpetrator is the person who makes the most impassioned TV
appeal to catch the perpetrator. I know many of you are now
saying to the media that you dont give a toss.
Another heartening feature this year has
been the number of you attending this conference. Nearly five
hundred registered on arrival, although about fifty people seem
to have gone missing, leaving their belongings in their rooms.
Finally, please be careful as you leave as
there have been reports of police in the woods behind the