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The possibility of integrating ‘science-based’ risk factors into current legal gun policy in the Netherlands - A study to the current state of legal gun-ownership in Dutch police regions, science-based risk factors that are related to or might cause criminal behavior, and the possibility of integrating risk factors in current legal gun policy.

Drost, Kevin (2012) The possibility of integrating ‘science-based’ risk factors into current legal gun policy in the Netherlands - A study to the current state of legal gun-ownership in Dutch police regions, science-based risk factors that are related to or might cause criminal behavior, and the possibility of integrating risk factors in current legal gun policy.

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Abstract:A Dutch police region is looking for more knowledge in the application of risk factors into their current policy process of gun licensing, but also in the Dutch legal gun policy as a whole. This thesis investigated the possibilities of integrating risk factors of antisocial behavior into current legal gun policy. The research is divided into three phases, covering three levels of investigation on risk factors of antisocial behavior. First, science-based risk factors, what does theory say? Second, risk factors in legislation, what does the law say? And third, risk factors in practice, what do policy executors say? The first two phases are descriptive and have been studied by doing desk-research. The third phase is exploring and investigates three police regions using in-depth interviews to collect data on the application of risk factors. Phase one examined literature on antisocial behavior. It described that antisocial behavior is the result of many different factors. Risk factors of antisocial behavior have been collected from many different studies on correlations and casual relations between variables (risk factors) and the dependent variable antisocial behavior. These variables, or ‘science-based risk factors’ in this research, can be categorized and rank-ordered to their importance (correlation with antisocial behavior). This resulted in a risk factor model with eleven categories of risk factors, each consisting of static and dynamic risk factors that help to recognize risk factors and estimate the risk. The model can best be used by applying it in a multidimensional way (using multiple instruments to collect data, using multiple informants to verify and validate information, using different methods to combine instruments, and using different settings to combine methods and informants). How ‘science-based’ risk factors are embedded in legislation has been shown in phase two. Only one article in the Dutch gun law treats the aspect of fear for abuse. It states that someone may not possess a gun when he is a potential danger for himself or society. At the moment, this criterion is tested by using information from the police database about earlier convictions, looking back four and eight years into history, depending on the emergence of the perpetration. Comparing to foreign countries, Dutch legislation is far behind, only covering one category of the risk factor model and lacking in all aspects of multidimensionality. For instance, where some countries make use of multiple information channels, such as a doctor’s declaration of psychological condition, Dutch legislation does not prescribe instruments like these. How policy is translated from legislation into execution is explored in the third phase of this research. Three police regions have been interviewed to collect data on the integration of risk factors and the feasibility of legislation. Three interesting aspects have been concluded from this comparison. First there is a great variety between regions regarding the integration of risk factors. Second, goals described in legislation are not feasible because of lack of capacity and priority. Third, information is not shared properly by and to police regions because they lack structural processes, knowledge and restrictions in sharing information. The integration of science-based risk factors in legislation and practical execution of legal gun policy, has been tested with the multidimensional risk factor model of phase one. The model has two functions. It can be used as an introduction for the police to apply a risk approach in policing. The other function is the application of the model to collect information on risk factors to estimate the risk of antisocial behavior. It is recommended to use this model in a multidimensional way by applying multiple information channels and multiple methods. Also structured universal processes and instructions have to be made to limit the variety between regions in policy execution.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62634
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