Big Data Policing: The Use of Big Data and Algorithms by the Netherlands Police

Marc Schuilenburg*, M Soudijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In recent years, the rise of big data has revolutionized many domains, including policing. Research is lacking, however, on the various ways in which the police use big data applications. This study provides new insights into the ways the Netherlands Police currently use big data and algorithmic applications. Based on a novel data source—job vacancies in the IT domain for the Netherlands Police—we distinguish three areas in which big data is used: frontline policing, criminal investigations, and intelligence. Our research shows that the use of big data by the Netherlands Police mainly involves relatively simple applications and that—in contrast to police forces in the USA—big data applications with the objective of assessing risks are the least common. The research also shows that big data policing leads to greater discretionary powers for police functions such as software developers and network designers.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberpaad061
JournalPolicing: A Journal of Police and Practice
Early online date23 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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Research programs

  • SAI 2005-04 MSS


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