- Posted at Jun 3, 2022
- Universal vacancies
Looking for a student-assistant who would like to help analyzing bodycam footage of police interactions with people with disturbed behavior (12h. per week September 2022 to April 2023)
In 2020, around 350 citizens reported people with disturbed behaviour (code E33 in the police registration systems) in their neighbourhoods to the Dutch police daily. This volume of reports puts pressure on the police capacity for first responders and, when the situation escalates, police crisis negotiators. Yet, every situation is different. Some persons in crisis (PiC) may have bad intentions, while others are mentally ill. For this reason, it is important that first/second responders quickly make sense of the situation and determine whether negotiating is worthwhile, or a healthcare or SWAT team should intervene. Although a lot of research is available based on experiences of negotiators and healthcare specialists, the findings often lack empirical support. Empirical support is, however, needed to make sure correct and objective signs are being used for the threat assessment. The number of people showing disturbed behaviour has increased in society due to budget cuts in healthcare. Consequently, the need to assess threat objectively in these situations is now higher than ever.
Although there is merit in performing interviews with professionals in the field, it does not cover all aspects of what happens. That is, it is known from literature that people’s memory fails to fully recall what happened as well as those interviews cannot determine cause-effect relationships. To overcome these issues, we propose to analyse real encounters between first responders/police crisis negotiators and people with disturbed behaviour recorded by police bodycams.
What will be your tasks?
Together with a team of experienced researchers you will carry out a pilot analysis of body-worn camera (BWC) footage. The pilot analysis involves the transcription and sequential analysis of the bodycam footage following conversation analytic principles as well as a focus on behavioural influence strategies. Furthermore, it consists of developing a coding scheme integrating verbal and non-verbal actions, and in coding the footage second per second.
Depending on your background, qualities and aspirations, the tasks that you will perform can focus on research (performing literature review, transcribing, analyzing, and coding interaction data) or more on grant writing (speaking to stakeholders in the field, formatting the proposal).
Whom are we looking for?
You are an enthusiastic, highly motivated student who pays attention to details. You have finished your BSc and are about to start/finish a (research) Master in the Social Sciences (e.g., Psychology, Communication Sciences, Criminology, Sociology, Anthropology, Linguistics) in the academic year 2022-2023. You are interested in a career in science. Experience in qualitative and quantitative data analysis is a pré, fluency in Dutch (oral and written) and English (written) is prerequisite.
What are we offering?
You will take part in an international world leading team of scholars working on developing an understanding of conflict dynamics through analysis of video footage. You will take part in a diverse research group embracing diversity in terms of discipline, training, and career stage.
What are the practicalities of this position?
You will work approximately 8-12 hours per week on this project between September 2022 to April 2023. You will get a 0-hour contract and your salary is dependent on the number of hours you make per week. This salary is paid by the VU Amsterdam-University of Twente Creating Secure Societies impact coalition. Depending on your background, you will either be based at the VU Amsterdam/NSCR or the University of Twente. You will be able to work from home partly but are asked to be present for coding at the university and at meetings at both universities.
What is the VU-UT Creating Secure Societies impact coalition?
The VU and the UT have entered a strategic partnership and one of the designated impact programs is Creating Secure Societies (CSS). The ambition of the CSS impact coalition is to contribute to the understanding of and solution to complex social security issues, through knowledge development and dissemination. We do this through education and research that connects different social sciences with technology and that takes place in cocreation with societal stakeholders. The domain of policing is a primary focus of CSS. Both VU and UT have a long history in the policing. Jointly, we expect to be even more influential, particularly with our focus on connecting social sciences and technology.
Interested in this position?
Mail your motivation and CV to Miriam Oostinga (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the 1st of July. Interviews will follow in week 28 (11-15 July).