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Een kennisparel van Jaap de Waard

[159] 2 februari 2021: Primary Crime Prevention Apps: A Typology and Scoping Review

Inleiding en context

Dinsdagochtend 2 februari 2021, precies 42 jaar geleden was het ook onaangenaam weer, zo´n 1 graad Celsius met een koude wind. Maar voor mij persoonlijk was het een bijzondere dag: ik ontmoette toen mijn vrouw, waar ik in 2021 nog steeds gelukkig mee ben. Ik prijs mijzelf daarom een bevoorrecht man. Maar nu naar de ´kennisparel´ van vanochtend. De afgelopen tien jaar is een reeks smartphone-apps ontworpen om criminaliteit, geweld en huiselijk geweld te voorkomen. Het gaat dan vooral om zogenaamde primaire vormen van criminaliteitspreventie. Preventiemaatregelen kunnen het beste worden geclassificeerd op basis van twee dimensies. In de ene dimensie wordt het in de medische wereld conventionele onderscheid gemaakt tussen primaire, secundaire en tertiaire typen preventie gericht op het grote publiek, groepen met een verhoogd risico en specifieke kerngroepen die vanuit criminologisch oogpunt zeer problematisch zijn. De andere dimensie verwijst naar de routine-activiteiten theorie van Cohen en Felson, : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238322365_Social_Change_and_Crime_Rate_Trends_A_Routine_Activity_Approach volgens welke theorie de voorwaarden voor criminaliteit gelegen zijn in het in ruimte en tijd ‘samenvallen’ van potentiele regelovertreders en slachtoffers in een onvoldoende bewaakte omgeving. Deze gedachtegang levert drie strategieën op toegespitst op daders, situaties en slachtoffers: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287994211_A_two-dimensional_typology_of_crime_prevention_projects_With_a_bibliography

Concept van criminaliteitspreventie: een twee dimensionaal model

In bijgesloten kennisparel wordt specifiek aandacht geschonken aan primaire typen van criminaliteitspreventie. Bijzondere aandacht gaat uit naar beschikbare smartphone-apps en de effectiviteit daarvan. Op basis van Engelstalig onderzoek verricht tussen 2008 en 2020 zijn eenenzestig publicaties geselecteerd die voldeden aan de beschreven criteria. Hoe werken deze apps? Voor wie zijn ze op de markt gebracht? En meest belangrijk, wat is de effectiviteit van deze apps?

Bron

Wood, Mark A., Stuart Ross & Diana Johns (January 2021). Primary Crime Prevention Apps: A Typology and Scoping Review. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 22 January, pp. 1-18. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1524838020985560

Samenvatting

In the last decade, an array of smartphone apps have been designed to prevent crime, violence, and abuse. The evidence base of these apps has, however, yet to analyzed systematically. To rectify this, the aims of this review were (1) to establish the extent, range, and nature of research into smartphone apps with a primary crime prevention function; (2) to locate gaps in the primary crime prevention app literature; and (3) to develop a typology of primary crime prevention apps. Employing a scoping review methodology and following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, studies were identified via Web of Science, EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar. We included English-language research published between 2008 and 2020 that examined smartphone applications designed explicitly for primary crime prevention. Sixty-one publications met our criteria for review, out of an initial sample of 151 identified. Our review identified six types of crime prevention app examined in these publications: self-surveillance apps, decision aid apps, child-tracking apps, educational apps, crime-mapping/alert apps, and crime reporting apps. The findings of our review indicate that most of these forms of primary crime prevention apps have yet to be rigorously evaluated and many are not evidence-based in their design. Consequently, our review indicates that recent enthusiasm over primary crime prevention apps is not supported by an adequate evidence base.

Until recently, crime prevention was primarily a mediated process—police, local, or state government agencies developed and promoted programs and tool kits to individuals and communities who were encouraged to conduct risk audits, adopt safe behaviors, lock their doors and windows, or be reassured by newly installed closed-circuit television cameras. However, with the ready availability of mobile crime prevention apps, this dynamic has fundamentally changed. People are now able to choose from a variety of mobile apps that claim to offer a range of protections against various forms of mainly violent crime. Some of these apps are created by the traditional providers of crime prevention solutions, some by specialist app developers, and some by entrepreneurial individuals hoping to find a place in the new app economy. Consumers of this new wave of crime prevention apps need to be able to make informed decisions about what they need and how best to use them, and informed choices based on the capacity of alternatives to meet their needs and their use-preferences.

Review of the Main Findings and Their Implications for Practice, Policy, and Research

  • To date, no studies have evaluated the efficacy of other tracking child abuse prevention apps, crime-tracking/mapping apps, or crime reporting apps. This indicates that recent enthusiasm over these forms of victim-facing app-based crime prevention interventions is not supported by adequate research or evaluation evidence.
  • Numerous studies highlight the need for evaluatory research of primary crime prevention apps to consider the potential unintended consequences of such apps, for example, increasing users’ fear of crime or victim-blaming sentiments.
  • Few software proposals for primary crime prevention apps grounded their proposed apps in crime prevention theory or evidence. This indicates that there is need for greater dialogue between computational and criminological knowledge in designing such apps, as well as further engagement with studies evaluating which situational and educational crime prevention measures are effective.
  • In the absence of systematic reviews of effectiveness, users of crime prevention apps need to receive advice about how to choose an app that will best meet their needs and a realistic appraisal of the likely benefits and risks (including privacy and data security risks) associated with using crime prevention apps.
  • In the longer term, crime prevention agencies should carry out systematic user reviews of apps and provide “curated” apps that provide useful crime prevention assistance without compromising users’ safety or security.

Afsluitend

De bevindingen van dit onderzoek tonen aan dat de meeste van deze apps gericht op vormen van primaire vormen van criminaliteitspreventie nog grondig moeten worden geëvalueerd. Er is weinig wetenschappelijk bewijs dat de beoordeelde apps daadwerkelijk effectief blijken te zijn. Werk aan de winkel voor onderzoekers, innovators en praktijkmensen.