The practice of crime linkage: a review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


Crime linkage has been the subject of increasing attention in academic research. Research has found support for the principles of behavioural consistency and distinctiveness, which underpin crime linkage, but this does not provide direct evidence as to whether crime linkage is useful in practice. This literature review draws together documentation that refers to the practice of crime linkage, from assessing analysts' efficacy, to discussing the usage of computerised tools to assist with the linkage process, to providing a comprehensive outline of the process itself. The implications of the amount and type of information currently available are discussed, including the variations in practice and terminology that were explored. Avenues for future investigation and the manner in which future research could be conducted are set out in a research agenda.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-200
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


  • behavioural consistency, behavioural distinctiveness, comparative case analysis, crime linkage, linkage analysis, signature analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas