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Jaar 2020 x
Artikel

Is digitale buurtpreventie een goed instrument voor burgeropsporing?

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 2-3 2020
Trefwoorden digital neighborhood watch, community crime prevention, crime reduction, surveillance, social control
Auteurs Jossian Zoutendijk en Krista Schram
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    It is often assumed that digital neighbourhood watch groups lead to more emergency calls and more arrests by the police. This article revolves around the question whether or not these groups actually contribute to reducing crime in the Netherlands. It does so by looking at recent studies and the results of researchers’ own ‘realist evaluation’ of the city of Rotterdam’s policy on digital neighbourhood watch. The latter includes a reconstruction of the program theory and ten case studies with different types of groups. The reconstruction of program theory revealed two main routes to crime reduction: 1) more emergency calls and more arrests by the police and 2) more social control. Chat histories have been studied and moderators, participants, non-participants and professionals were interviewed on their perception of active mechanisms and on the efficacy of their group. None of the respondents believed their group led to an increased number of arrests, but interviews and chat histories show that crime can be reduced by means of social control. Social control by neighbours limits the opportunity for crime and disturbs criminal acts. Other studies in the Netherlands support this finding. The article closes by putting digital neighbourhood watch in a citizen’s perspective with suggestions to improve the efficacy of digital neighbourhood watch groups and the notion that for citizens, crime reduction is not the only or principal goal.


Jossian Zoutendijk
Jossian Zoutendijk is werkzaam bij Hogeschool Inholland Rotterdam.

Krista Schram
Krista Schram is werkzaam bij Hogeschool Inholland Rotterdam.
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