Inquiring Minds Lecture by Professor David Canter

7th November 2012

On Wednesday 7 November JCG hosted Professor David Canter.

Over the last 20 years Professor David Canter has been prolific in mapping out the discipline of Investigative Psychology, opening up thinking on the psychology of criminal actions, and the ways in which this can inform police investigations and the courts. He has provided expert evidence in diverse legal cases of international significance.

In 1986, he was involved in providing guidance to a major police investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of John Duffy, the Railway Murderer, applying his skills as an environmental and social psychologist to a practical problem. As a result he was called on to provide profiles for over 150 police investigations and this enabled him to develop the new area of applied psychology of Investigative Psychology, described in his award winning book, Criminal Shadows.

He was commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service at Scotland Yard to develop the first Interactive Offender Profiling System for use in all forms of criminal investigation.

Professor Canter’s commitment to the systematic, scientific analysis of human behaviour, recently earned him one of only a handful of prestigious British Psychology Society Honorary Fellowships ever awarded across the discipline. This award emerged from his work on how people act in disasters and emergency situations, from the Kings Cross fire to the Bradford City football ground disaster to the evacuation of the World Trade Center on 9/11. To be awarded a Honorary Fellowship of the British Psychology Society is the highest designation the Society can bestow, showing that Professor Canter’s work in the application of the disciple of psychology to the practical problems of our society is outstanding. Professor Canter has published over 20 books and over 400 journal articles.


We were thoroughly delighted to welcome such a world leader in the field of Investigative Psychology to Jersey College for Girls to discuss the emergence of Investigative Psychology from his work in offender profiling. His visit to JCG began on Wednesday 7 November with a Workshop in Geographical Profiling with Year 13 Psychology students. An afternoon lecture was provided to A Level Psychology students from Jersey College for Girls, Victoria College, De La Salle and Beaulieu. Professor Canter also delivered an evening ‘Inquiring Minds’ public lecture, partly sponsored by Jersey International Business School – “Following in Killers’ Footsteps and the Development of Investigative Psychology" which was well attended by students, parents, and members of a variety of related professions.


Our calendar of ‘Inquiring Minds’ events is rapidly expanding and we are amassing links with eminent academics in a range of fields; if you are interested in attending any upcoming Inquiring Minds events, please contact Helen Douglas at [email protected]