The Director of Security research group is starting a study into the local security policy in the municipalities of the Province of Utrecht that will span several years. The aim is to gain knowledge and understanding of the theory, practice and effectiveness of this policy. This regional research is known as RUIT and is being implemented in cooperation with Veiligheidsregio Utrecht and Bureau Regionale Veiligheidsstrategie (Office Regional Security Strategy).
Security policy - a new subject
Municipalities are working more and more on their security policies, as demonstrated by - for example - the numbers of officials working in this area and the plans that have been put in place. As such, security has become a definite policy area. At the same time, however, it is also a fairly new area about which a range of opinions are voiced and in which change is the order of the day. There is no gold standard when it comes to security.
It is for these reasons that it was decided to set up RUIT. RUIT will look at questions such as: what plans form the basis of security policy? Which organizations are involved in them and how will they be implemented? How do the plans relate to real-life practice? Are they monitored, and which indicators are applied?
Students collect data
Second-year students in the HU degree programme in Integrated Security Studies will collect the data for this study. First, they will assess the plans and other documents available, and then they will meet local officials at the municipalities and other external organizations involved in security. The chairman of Veiligheidsregio Utrecht has informed all the mayors about this study by letter and requested their cooperation.
The results obtained from data collected by the students will form the basis for publications by the research group about safety in municipalities in the region of Utrecht. The data collection started in December 2012 and is expected to be completed in March 2013.
Then a report will be made for the municipalities and others, in which the similarities and differences between the municipalities will be discussed along with other interesting initiatives and best practices. Another aspect covered will be the indicators used by the various municipalities to manage their security. This will relate to the question of how security and insecurity are measured.