Erasmus School of Law conducts research into drillrap and knife crime in the city of Rotterdam

On behalf of the municipality of Rotterdam, Dr Robby Roks and Jeroen van den Broek of Erasmus School of Law are investigating knife crime in Rotterdam and its relationship with drillrap. The number of stabbing incidents in Rotterdam has increased considerably over the last months, often causing serious injuries to young people. Drillrap is more and more considered a possible cause for the escalating violence among young people.

Drillrap is a rap genre characterized by its violent, dark lyrical content. The genre is popular among the youth. Everywhere, connections between social media, drillrap and stabbing incidents are found. However, there is no research yet that accurately and systematically examines what those connections actually look like and whether the relationship can be seen as causal as some assume. The prevailing ambiguity emphasizes the importance of research. "We want to properly interpret violence, music and the role of the social media, with a nuanced story, " according to the researchers. “The phenomenon has to be properly interpreted first before anything can be concluded.”

Dr Robby Roks is professor of Criminology at Erasmus University Rotterdam and conducts research into organized crime. He received his doctorate in 2016 for his research on Crips, the Hague youth gang founded by Delano R.
Jeroen van den Broek won the Rotterdam Thesis Prize in 2014 for his master thesis on the use of social media by young people in street culture at Erasmus School of Law. His doctoral research is also about this topic.

This research into (youth) crime in Rotterdam, therefore, fits like a glove to Robby Roks and Jeroen van den Broek. They started their research in January and hope to present their recommendations to the municipality in September.

More information

You can read the whole article in NRC here (in Dutch).