Offender profiling is a technique for constructing psychological profiles of criminals associated with certain types of criminal behaviour. This technique may be used to help in criminal investigation or in supporting a legal case. Offender profiling has become an increasingly popular topic for writers of fiction, newspaper journalists and producers of television documentaries and it is often portrayed as an instant device for solving a crime. In reality this is far from the truth. This book places offender profiling within a more realistic, balanced context. Initial chapters introduce a theoretical, empirical basis for the approach, and are followed by chapters illustrating the pros and cons of its use in an applied, operational setting. The book presents two basic ideas: that offender profiling is not an end in itself, but is purely an instrument for steering an investigation in a particular direction; and that the process of developing a profile depends on a combination of investigative experience together with objective findings from behavioural science research.