The aim of the present study was to investigate whether experienced car crime investigators have special expertise in the linking of car crime and what characterises effective decision-making in this context. Groups of experienced car crime investigators, experienced other investigators, novice participants, and naive participants attempted to link 10 series of three car crimes while thinking aloud. The results showed that experience had an effect on actual and self-assessed linking accuracy but not on processing speed. Linking accuracy was also related to the use of a limited subset of case characteristics. Characteristics used in successful linking were included in a multidimensional scaling analysis which showed that these characteristics could be used to link the cases together also automatically. The implications of the findings for car crime investigation and for the creation of automated decision-support systems were discussed.
- linking expertise