Dashboard Zicht op Ondermijning has mapped out the percentage of youngsters that has a high-risk profile for every neighbourhood and village in the Netherlands. In Rotterdam, the rates range from seven to thirteen per cent; this amounts to almost ten thousand youngsters throughout the city. According to Robby Roks, Associate Professor of Criminology at Erasmus School of Law, it is essential to keep an eye on these youngsters with a high-risk profile.
The profiles of the youngsters used in the research have been compared to profiles of suspects of drug criminality. This comparison reveals that youngsters that have had a run-in with the law, have been sentenced to do community service or have dropped out of school early have a higher chance of falling into crime. Roks: “It is often a combination of factors. Problems with the youngers themselves, like a light mental disorder, problems within the family, poverty in the neighbourhood. Sometimes it comes from pure boredom. A part of the youngsters envisions a career in the criminal underworld. Others do not really have a specific plan.”
Family and future or criminality and coke
By conducting data research, Zicht op Ondermijning has established a risk percentage per neighbourhood. Additionally, the dashboard has mapped out which neighbourhoods house the most at-risk youngsters. Rotterdam, Helmond and Zaanstad are a few cities that score above average.
The youngsters from these cities have a higher risk of falling into crime. “However, it is possible that they are thriving in a couple of years. That they have a normal job, a family, you name it. But others might develop a career in organized crime. For example, trading narcotics, coke, involvement in liquidations and other types of severe violence", Roks explains.
Step in the right direction
The government has budgeted 82 million euros to prevent the rise of a new generation of (drug)criminals in troubled neighbourhoods. Roks is optimistic about the financing. Moreover, he stresses other viable solutions: “Youth work and neighbourhood work have disappeared due to budget cuts in neighbourhoods that really needed these. But more is necessary than just money, like eliminating structural inequalities. If we are not right on top of things, it is fighting a running battle. Professionals already fear the rise of new Taghi’s.”