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Who commits crime and why?

NSCR has a long-standing tradition in the study of perpetrators’ criminal careers. At what point in life do offenders start offending, and when and how escalate their criminal careers? We focus on the explanation of patterns: what factors influence starting, escalating and desisting from crime?

Being born in a criminal family substantially elevates children’s risk to become offenders themselves. But by no means all children who grow up in a criminal family become criminals. How is that possible? Certain life events prevent or adjust a (threatening) criminal career: finding a job, a home or a romantic partner. Beside, we focus on the criminal careers of those who commit ‘new’ crimes, such as cybercrime or terrorism.

Program leader: Veroni Eichelsheim

Young people use alcohol and drugs while hanging out with peers

Most prior studies on adolescent substance focus on the individual but not on the setting. For example, adolescents who spend more time with peers are known to be more likely to use alcohol and drugs. It is typically assumed but not verified that alcohol and drugs use actually takes place during the time spent with […]

The Human Factor of Cybercrime

As a result, human decision-making plays a substantial role in the course of an offence, the justice response, and policymakers’ attempts to legislate against these crimes. This book focuses on the human factor in cybercrime: its offenders, victims, and parties involved in tackling cybercrime. Traditional criminal or new offender types? The distinct nature of cybercrime […]

Deterrence versus procedural justice. Successfully reducing reoffending

An important aim of imposing sanctions is preventing people who have already committed crimes from breaking the law again. However, worldwide, the figures for reoffending are high. Usually, the criminal law system assumes that criminals will reoffend less if they perceive sanctions as (more) severe and if they feel they have been treated (more) fairly […]

Peter van der Laan appointed as interim director NSCR

Peter van der Laan studied special education at Leiden University. In 1991, he gained his doctorate for a thesis entitled Experimenteren met alternatieve sancties voor jeugdigen (Experimenting with alternative sanctions for juveniles). For many years, he has carried out research in the area of child protection, juvenile deliquency and (youth) criminal law. From 1981 to […]

Jihadist radicalization in problematic youth groups

The investigation was prompted by a unique case study in Delft, where several young people from a problematic youth group traveled to Syria in early 2013. For the first time, researchers have reconstructed what exactly happened and how radicalization arose within this youth group. A problematic family background, a lack of perspective in a deprived […]

Pressure during investigative interview increases risk of wrong sentencing

Miscarriages of justice, such as the Schiedam Park murder case, occur in the Netherlands too. This case led to further research and recommendations to structure the investigative interview differently, and to report it better. In England and Wales, famous cases of miscarriages of justice are the Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six and the Maguire Seven. […]

Bystander effect in street disputes disquestioned

For fifty years, psychologists have assumed a bystander effect: in an emergency situation the crowd looks, but nobody intervenes. The higher the number of bystanders, the more anonymous we feel and the smaller the chance that somebody intervenes. ‘But that is not at all what we found’, says cultural anthropologist Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, who led […]

Reputation influences collaboration within cryptomarket for drugs

Cryptomarkets are online “marketplaces” that are only accessible using encryption software, which hides the identity and location of users. This coding technology makes it difficult for law enforcers to tackle these marketplaces. The markets can be found in the Dark Web, the part of the Internet not indexed by search engines. Trust problem due to […]

Adolescent offenders’ current whereabouts predict locations of their future crimes

Recent advances in the analysis of human mobility have confirmed that human spatial behavior follows remarkably regular and predictable daily and weekly cycles, that can be explained by two simple mechanisms. The first mechanism is preferential return, the propensity to return to locations frequently visited before. The second mechanism is spatial exploration, the tendency to […]