Introduction: Time to consolidate and reflect
Crime linkage is a police practice whereby crimes that may be the work of the same offender(s) are identified from an analysis of crime scene behaviors. The analysis attempts to uncover similarities across the potential series that are also relatively distinct from behavior exhibited in other crimes (of the same type). It, therefore, rests on two underlying principles: the principles of behavioral consistency (Canter, 1995) and behavioral distinctiveness (also referred to as differentiation and interindividual variation; Bennell & Canter, 2002). The first principle requires offenders to show some consistency in the way they commit their offenses. The second requires that the crimes of one offender are relatively distinctive from the crimes of another offender such that it is possible to distinguish a crime series from crimes being committed by other offenders (Woodhams & Grant, 2006).