The risk of young people with an immigrant background being suspected of a crime is two to three times higher than for young people of Dutch origin. This emerges from research carried out by sociologists from Erasmus University commissioned by the police, police and science research program.
“There are a lot of young people who have done something wrong, but some of them come to the attention of the police,” one of the researchers, Willemijn Bezemer, said in the newspaper. OUR Radio 1 News. “We investigated the backgrounds of young people who do or do not come on the scene with the police. This helps to see which type of young people are most likely to be labeled as suspects.”
Bezemer says the biggest differences between ethnic groups can be seen. “And the combination of certain characteristics such as place of residence and level of education.” A white girl in a small, pre-college education community with highly educated parents is the least likely to be suspected of a crime. Boys of Moroccan or West Indian origin in the city with a pre-vocational secondary education level are most often suspected of the same offense.
The researchers first came to these conclusions by comparing police figures with figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In 2010 and 2015, he recorded what 6,000 young people themselves reported about their own criminal behavior. The young people were asked to answer questions that filter out socially desirable answers. Based on these responses, the researchers were able to determine which young people were willing to tell the truth about their criminal behavior.
No tangible evidence of ethnic profiling
At first glance, the research results appear to be the first scientific evidence of ethnic profiling by the police. Bezemer says it’s a bit more complex than simple ethnic profiling. Police figures show an overrepresentation of certain groups. But because these numbers have never been compared to other numbers and features, this is a one-sided picture.
“Ethnic profiling may be part of the explanation, but other factors may also play a role,” she says. “For example, it’s citizens who call in the police on a regular basis in certain situations. It’s a problem that plays out across society. A lot of police work is reactive. They are called and then the officers have to do something. . “
Arjen Leerkes, the second researcher, says in by Volkskrant that the results were discussed with the police yesterday. “It was a constructive conversation. We hope the police see this investigation as an opportunity to learn, and continue to monitor it.” Leerkens argues that not only can the police learn from this investigation. According to him, this also applies to citizens who file a report.
“Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff.”