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Social control in problem areas : a research about social control in problem areas and the role of the municipality

Eidhof, Coen (2018) Social control in problem areas : a research about social control in problem areas and the role of the municipality.

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Abstract:Velve-lindenhof used to be a well-known problem area, with possibly the biggest low during the MIRO-riots. However, in the years during and after the renovation this the area totally changed. Not only did the neighborhood got an huge upgrade, the social control and quality of life was improved. Now the framework is set for informal social control within this neighborhood without a lot of government involvement. On the contrary, in Stadsveld Enschede, a neighborhood in the east of the city, people are worried about the developments in the area. In a small area within Stadsveld, Acacia, problems are no longer acceptable and intervention is needed in order to alter the situation. Both areas are located near and around play gardens. Which is an ideal (small) setting to work out several theories about ‘crime hotspots’ and the ‘New-parochialism’. This led to the following research question: ‘To what extent contributes (new-)parochialism to social control in playgrounds in Acacia and Velve-Lindenhof?’ This research question cannot be answered straight away, so several sub questions were constructed in order to effectively answer the main research question. The first sub question is; ‘What kind of public unsafety can be found on both playground-areas?’. Using data available for both areas an answer can be given to this answer. Three definitions are central in the answering of this question. The main findings are that Velve-Lindenhof has no real unsafety in the area any longer, opposed to before the renovation. The safe feeling has improved, Velve-Lindenhof is not a crime hotspot and can no longer be seen as an problem area. On the other hand, Acacia does have public unsafety in the area. The safe feeling of citizens is not guaranteed, it can be stated as a problem area and a crime hotspot. The second sub question is; ‘To what kind of extend motivated offenders, suitable targets and other (than parochial social controllers) kind of guardians of violations can be found on both hotspots?’ This question is answered using the theory of Cohen and Felson. The main findings in Velve-Lindenhof are that there are not a lot of motivated offenders, but this can change in the future. There are few suitable targets, perhaps only the play garden. And lastly, there are several capable guardians in the neighborhood available. Acacia, however is a different case. There are several motivated offenders present in the neighborhood. There are several suitable targets for motivated offenders, such as illegal jobs in order to take care of their children and because control from the police and the municipality is inadequate. And finally there are no capable guardians. Possible skilled guardians, such as leader (s) of the neighborhood, are not known to any of the actors. Possible capable guardians, such as leader(s) of the neighborhood, are not know by any of the actors. The last sub question is; ‘To what extend can features of new-parochialism, according to the concept of Carr, be found in both playground-areas?’. The basis for this question is the theory of Carr, applied in Beltway, Chicago. The most important results are shown in the models in chapter 7. We saw that all the criteria from Carr are met in Velve-Lindenhof, before the renovation, with different actors. Together with professionals, the municipality and citizens, the stage was set for (informal) social control. Professionals and district coaches had an important role in facilitating and organising initiatives. After the renovation, this factor was taken over by citizens who prefer to remain anonymous or who do not want to make themselves known to the researcher. The leading role of professionals and the municipality could change into a more facilitating role, thanks to the strong network that had arisen at that time. Acacia differs from Velve-Lindenhof in various ways. Figure 7.6 shows that there are a lot of red lines and red factors, meaning that they lack certain factors. Therefore it is very hard to expect that (informal) social control can arise. The most important factors are threats of denial and accountability, no public interference, no responsibility of the community, no clear leader (s) in the district, no main activists, no common value and no integral policy. The main research question can be divided into the two areas; Velve-Lindenhof and Acacia. Velve-Lindenhof has shown that before and after the renovation New parochialism arisen, which led to a decrease in crimes, motivated offenders, suitable targets and a rise in capable guardians. In Acacia it did not come about. The analysis shows that Acacia lacks many stimulating factors. This leads to an unsafe feeling under citizens, there are motivated offenders, there are suitable targets and there is an absence in capable guardians.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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