Criminal Psychology Personal Statement
“Half of all criminals re-offend within the year was the headline of a recent article in the Daily Telegraph.
The article went on to say that, according to the Ministry of Justice, half a million crimes are committed each year by serial offenders who have left prison or are starting community service. 500,000 crimes solely by reoffending criminals is a vast amount but this is the reality of our world today.
It amazes me how, throughout the world, we all have a unique idea of how we are meant to behave and interact. We have different ideas, but abide by the basic laws and regulations that have been adopted to provide stability and safety in society. So what makes people go against the basic rules and regulations and deviate from social and legal norms by committing crimes?
I want to explore the thoughts and intentions of a criminal to help myself and others understand how and why they go against the justice system. Studying psychology opened up a new way of thinking for me.
The mind is more complex than people may think at first and the capability of someone to commit a crime whether seemingly harmless vandalism or murder could depend on both external influences such as their environment and endogenous factors including mental health issues. Every month we hear about another rape, another kidnapping.
These crimes have encouraged me to explore the reasons why someone who may seem perfectly normal can commit a crime that could change the course of both their own and someone else life. Humans have created laws and rules to create order, yet it is human beings who destroy this order and make it impossible for us to say with honesty that we live in a safe world.
I want to know why a criminal goes against this order, and how they can put into practice an action that goes against the social imperatives to live together without conflict. This is why I want to study Criminal Psychology.
I recently read Paul Brittons autobiography The Jigsaw Man. Being one of Britain's foremost criminal profilers meant his book interested me because it is one aspect of Criminal Psychology which really appeals to me.
He can access the mind of a criminal and understand why they committed their crime and this is exactly what I want to be able to do. One case that he worked on was The Supermarket Blackmailer Rodney Witchelo.
Witchelo blackmailed Pedigree pet food by saying that unless he was given one hundred thousand pounds a year from Pedigree, he would contaminate the products. This failed so he took the threat further and started threatening one product that was sure to cause huge uprising - baby food.
Using the skills that he had acquired Britton drew up a profile of what he believed the perpetrator to be like. He described him to be intellectual but to have probably not achieved education past secondary level, to be mature and to be aware of forensic clues. These are only a few that are stated but, when caught, Witchelo showed many of these characteristics.
I feel that my greatest trait is my ability to be able to look at both sides of argument without being biased. I feel this is essential when studying Criminal Psychology as it enables me to listen, understand and assess any situation that may arise.
My involvement in Model United Nations has not only given me a wider perspective of the more complicated political systems of a country, but also strengthened my confidence in public speaking and constructing and maintaining an argument as well as understanding the importance of preparation.
I used to see myself as an independent person. However after Duke of Edinburgh I now realise that working in a team is often more valuable than being reliant on just myself. Being a form attachment for a younger year requires me to be a confidante, which has taught me responsibility and diplomacy.
Criminal Psychology will help me not only to develop my own ideas about society but will also challenge me in an area in which I am especially interested.
This personal statement was written by ggfield1 for application in 2009.
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