Cyprus police is betting on behavioural sciences in another effort to combat crime, drawing on experts and techniques reminiscent of CSI shows on television.
On Tuesday, Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou attended a conference on criminal investigations where evidence-based criminal profiling was the main theme.
Chrysostomou, who also spoke at the conference, said Cyprus police would get a brand new special unit where officers trained in behavioural sciences will work on building psychological profiles.
A number of complicated criminal cases made headlines recently that prompted authorities to seek experts from abroad, drawing both praise and criticism
According to reports, two new positions of forensic psychologists have been approved in the budget, linking a number of highly specialised fields in psychology with the justice system in a methodical and more systematic way.
The conference was jointly organised by the University of Cyprus’ Law Department and the Cyprus Society of Criminology. It was held on the new UCY campus in Aglandjia and sponsored by Global College.
A number of experts from Cyprus and other countries, including USA and the UK, spoke at the conference, expanding on the scope of law enforcement to include evidence-based offender profiling and experimental testing of statistical profiles.
It was not clear what might be the final required qualifications and criteria for the two new positions. Typically, forensic psychologists hold a PhD degree in a specialised field while also having professional training and experience in related interdisciplinary subjects.
The unabomber success story
One of the most famous success stories of psychological profilers was the work that led to the identification and capture of the unabomber, American domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski. The science behind the profiling defied and even clashed with traditional police methods that had been targeting the wrong suspects all along.
A number of complicated criminal cases made headlines on the island recently that prompted authorities to seek experts from abroad, drawing both praise and criticism in the media and the public.