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Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid x Jaar 2014 x
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Een terughoudende praktijk

Over de praktische vraagtekens bij het bestrijden van onveiligheidsgevoelens

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 3 2014
Trefwoorden reducing fear of crime, reflective practitioners
Auteurs Remco Spithoven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Despite the international scientific inconclusiveness about the nature of the fear of crime, the strategic layer of the Dutch government aims to reduce the fear of crime in general by 2017. But their policy-goals were not accompanied with a plan how to realize them. Meanwhile, local practitioners claim to be in search of practical tools and substantive support how to fight back the public’s fear of crime. This study was aimed to feed the discussion with a constructive and realistic input from both the practitioners and the scientific view. The research question was: ‘What do local practitioners do against the public’s fear of crime and how can these activities be improved?’ 36 local practitioners from Dutch local municipalities, the police force and the public prosecutor were interviewed. Schön’s idea of the ‘reflective practitioner’ (1983) was the underlying argument to make practical knowledge about reducing the fear of crime explicit. The respondents from both institutional layers of local ‘policy advise’ and ‘policy implementation’ were quite reluctant about fighting back the public’s fear of crime. They aim to reduce the fear of crime in a doubtful and indirect way. Because many sources of the public’s fear of crime were unknown to them or were not in the reach of their professional activities. In this way, the interviewed local practitioners approach strongly aligned with the advice of international scientists to be reluctant and realistic about fighting back the public’s fear of crime. We advised an approach of ‘local fear of and worry about crime’ in dialog between international science and the interviewed local Dutch practitioners. The results of it will probably not contribute to quantitative policy goals at the national level, but rather to custom fit, qualitative improvements on the local level. This will probably be the most effective way to fight back the few tractable elements that make up the fear of crime.


Remco Spithoven
Remco Spithoven is promovendus bij de leerstoel Burgerschap en Veiligheid aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in samenwerking met het lectoraat Participatie en Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling aan de Hogeschool Utrecht en docent Integrale Veiligheidskunde bij het Instituut voor Veiligheid aan de Hogeschool Utrecht.
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