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Wim Bernasco has been named professor by special appointment of Urban Geography of Crime and Security at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The chair is a partnership between the UvA and the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). ‘Safety not only means not becoming a victim, but also feeling free to go wherever you want without fear or discomfort.’

In taking the chair, Wim Bernasco aims to link urban geography and criminology by studying crime and the fight against crime from an urban perspective. What makes people feel less safe in certain neighbourhoods or streets than others? Does this have to do with the design of the space or the people they meet there? ‘Researching the answer to such questions is what I enjoy doing most. I’m also looking forward to working with new colleagues at the UvA, especially the Urban Geographies research group,’ Bernasco enthuses.

Tourism, school choice and digitisation

Cities are in a state of constant flux, leading to spatial differences in crime and safety. Socio-spatial processes such as tourism, daily mobility, school choice, digitisation and segregation all correlate to crime, nuisance and security concerns. ‘It’s important to study how safety problems arise, disappear and are experienced by residents. Safety not only means not becoming a victim, but also feeling free to go where you want without fear or discomfort.’

Wim Bernasco (photo: Kirsten van Santen).

About Wim Bernasco

Wim Bernasco studied Psychology at Leiden University and obtained a PhD in Social Sciences from Utrecht University. Bernasco will combine his professorship with his position as senior researcher at the NSCR, where he has worked since 2000. From 2013-2023, he was professor by special appointment of Spatial Analysis of Crime at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.