New Bachelor Thesis Assignments

Influencing citizens to get involved in crime prevention and control

Background

Citizens are increasingly stimulated and empowered to participate in the police domain. Citizens can, for example, cooperate with the police by reporting crime and nuisance or provide specific intelligence in criminal investigations. Other forms arise more from citizens' own initiatives such as neighborhood watches, social control (e.g. addressing others regarding their behavior, being a role model for the youth), and informal interventions between conflicting parties (Steden, van Caem & Boutellier, 2011). Implementations of community policing generally yield positive effects, although it appears to affect feelings of subjective safety (a decrease of fear of crime and an increase in citizen satisfaction and police legitimacy) more than to lead to a demonstrable reduction of crime and disorder (Bullock & Sindall, 2014; Gill et al., 2014). However, even though citizen participation is a key aspect of community policing, in reality only a small proportion of citizens is actively participating (Bullock & Sindall, 2014). This increase in participation can be a positive development for community safety. In order to increase the scope of positive community policing effects and to stimulate more citizens to participate, it is essential to understand the psychological drivers for participation behavior. Previous research has shown several factors that may play a role in the decisions of citizens to participate in the police domain. These decisions can be influenced on an individual (e.g. usefulness of behavior), social (e.g. relationship with or influence by neighbors) and institutional (e.g. trust in police) level. During this study we want to examine whether we can influence participation behavior by developing interventions on these three levels.

Research question

Central research question is to what extent citizens can be stimulated to participate in the police domain with the use of psychological interventions on an individual, social or institutional level.

Research method

Experimental research.

Information

Are you interested in this topic for your thesis? Please contact the bachelor thesis coördinator Jan Gutteling (j.m.gutteling@utwente.nl).