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‘Boeven vangen’ via internet

Beelden over criminaliteit in opsporingsberichtgeving

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 0 2011
Trefwoorden crime & media, responsibilization, internet, citizen participation
Auteurs Judith van Erp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article studies community notification of suspects, as in Crimewatch and its Dutch equivalent, Opsporing Verzocht, and on police websites. It explores how these messages frame crime, and how these frames change when police messages are copied by private websites. Publication of suspects by the police is characterized as responsibilization, because it legitimizes the authority of the police and reinforces existing relations between police and the public. The new media, however, undermine the frame of authority as it is presented by the police, either because publications aiming to detect suspects are transformed into news or entertainment, or because private websites select those publications that give room to the questioning of police performance. As for the presentation of the publications, this article compares the Dutch TV program Opsporing Verzocht and the website GeenStijl. Opsporing Verzocht centers around the victim, while GeenStijl presents the subject from an enforcement point of view. GeenStijl users are not addressed as the police’s helping hands, but as autonomous agents of social control, sometimes standing in for the police. Community notification of suspects therefore not only influences detection rates, but also the relation between the police, the public, and offenders in society.


Judith van Erp
Dr. Judith van Erp is universitair hoofddocent Criminologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. E-mail: vanerp@law.eur.nl.
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