Ethical principles are critical in every profession as they enhance effective behavioral conduct during the execution of duties. Indeed, every profession requires a distinct code of ethics to provide guidance to its professionals accordingly. Emergent studies indicate that the field of criminal profiling has been compounded by various ethical issues in the recent past. This can be attributed to its inter-disciplinary nature. In particular, criminal profiling borrows heavily from psychology, investigation and law enforcement. This multifaceted nature has undermined the application of a clear code of ethics by the profilers. Considering the fact that criminal profiling is increasingly being professionalized, it is imperative that a code of ethics is developed to provide the much needed guidance. It is against this background that this paper seeks to propose an ideal code of conduct that would reconcile various ethical concerns from constituent disciplines.
Criminal Profiling Code of Ethics
To begin with, Holmes and Holmes (2002) indicate that the profiles need to be competent. In this respect, they need to have adequate skills, knowledge and experience in the field of psychology, law enforcement and investigation. This is attained through training and education. Then, the profilers need to exercise the highest degree of confidentiality. In order to the process of profiling to yield optimal results, Robb (2002) asserts that the information that is not directly related to the subject under review needs to be kept confidential. Notably, this is also a prerequisite for effective collection of vital information from the public.
Further, the profiler should be able to initiate, establish and maintain viable relations with different persons during various interactions. Caution needs to be undertaken to avoid infringing upon the rights of the individuals. For instance, fees need to be negotiated before hand and an agreement arrived at before the criminal profiler commences his or her duties. In addition, clients need to be informed in advance about their legal rights and their permission sought before commencing any duty. The profilers also need to exercise a high level of objectivity during the execution of their duties (Hicks and Sales, 2006). The methods employed in collecting information need to be of acceptable standards and quality. Also, sufficient time needs to be accorded to investigation and profiles need to restrain from hearsay. In particular, the information employed in making assumptions need to be sourced from reliable sources (Turvey, 2001). Further, the process of analysis needs to be based on factual information that is free from external influences like personal beliefs, prejudices, friendships, political beliefs and others.
The criminal profilers also need to be honest in their undertakings in order to win the trust of the public and to enhance the credibility of their duties. In his review Robb (2002) shows that this can be exemplified through truthfulness, obedience of the authorities, high degree of objectivity and confidentiality. Honesty is important as it avoids incidences of favoritism and bias. Of great importance however is the ability of the profilers to be self restraint under provocation and maintain courage in times of danger. This is instrumental in enabling them to enhance objectivity during decision making.


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