Short courses


Geographic Profiling Analysis: Crime and Security

  • 70 hours (approx)
  • 2 weeks


This two-week certified training programme gives you the background and skills you need to develop and interpret geographic profiles correctly and to make actionable recommendations.

The course includes the option for you to become a fully-qualified Geographic Profiling Analyst if you complete an operational geographic profiling report within four months of the course. 

This course is run by UCL's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science in partnership with the National Crime Agency.

Who this course is for

This course is aimed at police intelligence analysts.

Applications of geographic profiling

Geographic profiling is an investigative technique that uses the locations of a connected series of crime to work out where an offender most likely lives, or bases their activities from.

The application of geographic profiling has been significant in a number of major serial crime investigations and is increasingly being used for volume crime. The principles of geographic profiling have also been applied to non-serial crime investigations.

Since this course first ran in 2010, police forces have used their certified analysts to apply geographic profiling to the following types of investigation:

  •     Residential burglary
  •     Robbery against the person
  •     Theft from the person
  •     Residential burglary where vehicle keys have been targeted and a vehicle stolen
  •     Metal theft on railway lines
  •     Catalytic converter theft
  •     Arson (wheelie-bin fires)
  •     Arson to commercial buildings
  •     Distraction burglary
  •     Criminal damage to dwellings
  •     Theft of fuel from heating tanks and vehicles
  •     Robbery of commercial premises

Course content and structure

In week 1 (Tuesday to Friday) you'll have classroom-based lectures and exercises, and you'll do a fieldwork search exercise.

You'll learn about the theoretical principles that underpin geographic profiling, the geography of offending (including offender search behaviour, attack methods and hunting grounds), crime linkage and investigative scenarios. 

In week 2 (Monday to Friday) you'll be based in a computer-lab and will undertake case work and investigative scenarios.

For the majority of the software-based exercises you'll use Rigel Analyst, but you'll also explore the utility of CrimeStat, Dragnet, centrographic spatial statistical techniques, and applications of geographic profiling using R. 

Exercises are based on real cases and are designed to develop your skills, learn from mistakes and develop your experience in the application of geographic profiling. 

The cases you'll study include offences of sexual assault, burglary, robbery, theft, homicide and threats and harassment. 

Certificates and certification

You'll get a certificate of attendance and successful course completion, issued by the Committee for Geographic Profiling Analyst Training and Certification, if you successfully complete both weeks.   

To become a fully-certified Geographic Profiling Analyst you will need to complete an operational geographic profiling report within four months of the course.

Operational reports involve applying your training to a real case. The report is then marked and if it reaches the necessary standard you will be certified as a Geographic Profiling Analyst. 

Marking of the report and certification are included in the cost of the course. 

Course team

Spencer Chainey

Spencer Chainey

Spencer is the Principal Research Associate at the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science. His particular research interests are in developing geographical crime analysis and crime mapping. He carries out most of his day-to-day work on developing the use of data, information sharing and analysis to aid intelligence development and decision-making by police forces, community safety partnerships, and national crime reduction and policing agencies.

His work has influenced national (UK) policy, and has contributed to policing and crime reduction developments in the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. His work is also used in examples of good practice by the UK Cabinet Office (Social Exclusion Unit), Local Government Improvement and Development, The Home Office, the Audit Commission, The Housing Corporation and the United States National Institute of Justice.

Learner reviews

"Best course I have ever been on. The breadth of knowledge from the trainers combined with the theory and practical examples makes this course a must!" [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"Well presented with good practical application from knowledgeable trainers." [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"I have been in intelligence analysis both at a local and force level for a number of years and it is the best course I have had the pleasure to attend!" [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"This has been one of the best courses I've attended. It has really put the application of theory into practice and cemented pre-existing knowledge. I think it will be very important discipline to have in forces and look forward to getting my hands dirty on some real cases. Brilliant stuff." [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"An excellent course, that even without the use of Rigel will impact on my daily activities/thinking and also the ability to share knowledge and influence others." [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"It was focused and useful, well taught at a good pace." [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"Have thoroughly enjoyed it - informative, easy to understand and so relevant to my role (or at least it will be when I get back in force and get to do it!)." [Police Senior Intelligence Analyst]

"I would like to thank you for the skills and knowledge I could obtain during our course. It has been a great experience and definitely one of the best courses I encountered during my time with the federal police.” [Austrian Federal Police Intelligence Officer]

Course information last modified: 18 May 2023, 13:12