New research report: Top400: A top-down crime prevention strategy in Amsterdam

The advent of predictive policing systems demonstrates an increased interest in more novel forms of data processing for the purpose of crime control. These developments have been the subject of much controversy, as there are significant concerns on the role these technologies play in shaping life chances and opportunities for individuals and different groups in society.

Our new report on Top400: A top-down crime prevention strategy in Amsterdam explores the political and administrative decision-making processes behind the start and implementation of this programme. The findings are based on a close reading of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents received from the municipality of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam police force.

What emerges from the FOIA documents is a picture of a top-down safety approach that allows a wide range of institutions to coordinate their actions in order to manage and control those minors and young adults whose behaviour is considered a nuisance to the city. The voices, experiences, and needs of the minors and their families are completely missing from them.

We found that there are concerns about the way the mandate and the operationalization of the Top400 criminalises anti-social and teenage behaviour, instrumentalises care for crime prevention and includes vulnerable minors and young adults for a crime prevention program via algorithmic decision-making processes.

The report is based on research done as part of the DATAJUSTICE project (funded by the European Research Council Horizon 2020 grant agreement no. 759903) and written for the Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP). Cooperating partners include Mamamess, Controle Alt Delete, Bits of Freedom, and Fair Trials. The report was published adjacent to the IDFA première of the documentary Mothers directed by Nirit Peled.

Download the report here.

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