NWO grant for research on tackling subversive crime in port of Rotterdam

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a grant of 3 million euros to the FORT-PORT (Focusing On the Right Things in the Port of Rotterdam) project. In the project, government organisations, (port) companies and scientists work together to tackle cocaine trafficking, human smuggling and corruption in and around the port of Rotterdam. Utrecht University is one of the consortium partners in the project, which is led by Erasmus University Rotterdam.

FORT-PORT aims to provide better insight into how criminal organisations involved in cocaine trafficking and human smuggling operate in and around the port of Rotterdam. These insights will enable governance actors to intervene proactively and thus prevent drug trafficking and human smuggling related violence and harm. Moreover, FORT-PORT aims to shed light on the bottlenecks and success factors in the existing public-private partnerships in the port, and stimulate exchange with other (main)ports in the Netherlands and Europe, allowing for a future-proof governance set-up.

Serious game

As part of the project, Utrecht University researchers Stephen Snelders, Sander Bakkes and Remco Veltkamp will develop a serious game in collaboration with port employees, law enforcement officers and ex-offenders, among others. The researchers will use this game to collect data about the behaviour of the various stakeholders in the port environment. With this approach, they hope to gain more insight into the social and cultural environments underlying criminal networks.

In addition, the game will eventually be delivered to stakeholders around the port of Rotterdam, to ensure that the project will have a lasting impact on awareness and education in the field of subversive crime.