Testimonial Rogier Donk
Operational Expert Police Force, Core Team Utrecht-North
“Academics and operational expert of the police forece have much to offer to each other. I first met Beatrice de Graaf a few years ago at the police station. We had a conversation. At the time, I was handling city-wide casuistry for the radicalisation approach. She was part of the municipal task force Utrecht Zijn We Samen. Her insights in terrorists' motivations were very relevant to me and directly applicable during interviews with potentially radicalised persons.
“For instance, she pointed out to me that redemption can be an important motive. I can do a lot with that in practice. She also told me, as part of her education project Ter Info, that teachers are sometimes hesitant to act when it comes to noticing radicalisation or dealing with extreme ideals. This problem also occurs among police officers, and who knows what else the police can learn from the same curriculums. Schools benefit a lot from the curriculums that are made to make radicalisation and terrorism discussable.
“In return, I think that we as the police can offer very relevant study material regarding radicalisation, but also in a broader sense. For instance, I collaborated integrally in a field lab involved in fighting growth in cocaine trafficking. It's very important for me to understand when and how people enter the criminal underworld, as well as how and why they leave. That means I'm looking for new ways to analyse and investigate. As far as I'm concerned, academics can join these kinds of very concrete projects more often. I notice that the university not always knows how to respond to this. My hope is that the hub contributes to us collaborating more often.”