The Dutch Police and Leiden University have signed a cooperation agreement for a period of five years. The collaboration will include the establishment of a research team on the 1st of January, that will focus on the broad theme of Police Studies.
The Police Studies research team will develop within the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs). The team consists of a postdoctoral researcher, a PhD candidate to be appointed and, from the beginning of 2022, also an endowed professor of Police Studies.
In the coming years, the researchers will study three themes. The first theme focuses on the governance aspect of policing. This involves looking at how the police operate in a broader field of different security actors. The second theme focuses on international cooperation. Consider, for example, cooperation between police services in neighboring countries or cybersecurity, where international cooperation is also required because it crosses borders.
The last theme leaves room for subjects of high social relevance. The first topic is subversion, which will involve collaboration with Professor Pieter Tops, who has been appointed professor by special appointment of Undermining Studies at Leiden University.
On short term, a multi-year research programme will be put together in which relevant research projects and partners will be examined within and outside the university.
The need for in-depth research
The call for closer cooperation between the police and science has been around for some time. The number of researchers engaged in the scientific approach to the Dutch security landscape is thinning out and becoming fragmented.
Hans de Vries, deputy portfolio holder GGP "Of course there are several consultancy and investigation agencies that conduct investigations at and about the police, but the knowledge building will remain with these agencies and will not become commonplace. This while the police need more depth, scientists who are willing and able to form an overall picture and broad scientific expertise to better understand and tackle current security issues. Given the lightning-fast changes in society, the operation benefits from this. "
Read the article in Dutch
Watch here an extensive interview with Frans Heeres, national portfolio holder GGP, and Prof. Erwin Muller about the cooperation between the police and Leiden University, moderated by Prof. Dr. Edwin Bakker.