A Language Modelling approach to linking criminal styles with offender characteristics

R. Bache, F. Crestani, D. Canter, D. Youngs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to infer the characteristics of offenders from their criminal behaviour ('offender profiling') has only been partially successful since it has relied on subjective judgments based on limited data. Words and structured data used in crime descriptions recorded by the police relate to behavioural features. Thus Language Modelling was applied to an existing police archive to link behavioural features with significant characteristics of offenders. Both multinomial and multiple Bernoulli models were used. Although categories selected are gender, age group, ethnic appearance and broad occupation (employed or not), in principle this can be applied to any characteristic recorded. Results indicate that statistically significant relationships exist between all characteristics for many types of crime. Bernoulli models tend to perform better than multinomial ones. It is also possible to identify automatically specific terms which when taken together give insight into the style of offending related to a particular group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-315
Number of pages13
JournalData and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


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