SLC.20.014 – Optimal strategies influencing patterns and causes of crime

Route: Smart, liveable cities

Cluster question: 058 What are the patterns and causes of crime and how can we influence them?

In the Netherlands around 13 billion euros is spent each year on costs directly related to (the prevention of) crime (Moolenaar et al., 2015). A better understanding of the patterns and causes of crime enables society to choose and/or design the most appropriate strategies to influence them. This should lead to a net increase in social value for delinquents, victims and society as a whole, including a possible reduction in costs directly and/or indirectly related to crime. To be able to choose optimal strategies (sets of measures) and/or design an optimal strategy, from a societal point of view, the following underlying multi-disciplinary set of questions needs to be answered: Which measures are effective to what extent in which situation? What are the social costs and benefits of measures trying to influence these patterns and causes? What is needed for a successful implementation and execution of these optimal strategies in the field? To what extent are these measures ethically and morally desirable, including which preconditions? What is the influence of societal debate on decisions on which measures to take and to what extent is societal debate relevant and acceptable? What is legally possible and impossible? To answer these questions a combination of qualitative and quantitative research is required. This means a mixed method approach consisting of literature review, analysis of large data sets, interviews and focus groups. Furthermore, designing the most optimal approach requires a multi-disciplinary approach with a large consortium containing the required specialisms (a.o. criminology, behavior analysis, data analysis, public management, ethics and law). A multi-disciplinary approach ensures all relevant perspectives, both from a research point of view as a practice point of view, are covered. Resulting in a heightened chance of successful implementation, execution and effectiveness of strategies, leading to a significant impact in society.


Behavior analysis, Crime, ethics, Large data, law, Social benefits, Social costs

Other organisations

Universiteit Twente (UT)


Organisation Saxion University of Applied Sciences
Name Dr. ir. A.A. (Attila) Nemeth