The NCA's Serious Crime Analysis Section (SCAS) works to identify the potential emergence of serial killers and serial rapists at the earliest stage of their offending.
Once the case has been input onto the SCAS database it is picked up by a Crime Analyst. The first thing I do is to contact the investigating officer and agree the work to be carried out. Often, I then conduct comparative case analysis, searching across the cases held on the SCAS database to identify any which may be linked to the original offence. Once my searches are complete I read through the summaries of all the offences returned and look for any that show significant similarity to the original offence. If I’m analysing an undetected offence I will also be looking for any potential suspects held on the SCAS database.
Once my searches are complete, I write a report detailing any similar offences and suspects, including my justifications for highlighting these cases to the investigation. This report is then sent to the investigating officer so that they can progress enquiries.
Another part of my role is to support investigations by carrying out suspect research using police national databases and other data sources.
Although the material which we deal with in SCAS on a day to day basis can be disturbing, when our work leads to a successful outcome it is rewarding for the team. To know that our work is contributing to justice for the victims of these crimes and helping to keep the offenders off the street so that they are no longer available to offend against others is very satisfying. Furthermore our work can help save police resources, particularly pertinent given the current economic climate. We provide services at SCAS that may be less readily available locally and these can really help to focus lines of enquiry for the investigating force.