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Seminar: Getting citizens involved in policing: A seminar on digital opportunities and societal challenges

Location: Pianofabriek (Arenberg hall), rue du Fortstraat 35, 1060 St Gillis/Gilles (Brussels) + Online web-stream
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Poster for seminar: Getting citizens involved in policing - A seminar on digital opportunities and societal challenges

















Citizens are increasingly involved in law enforcement, with their roles ranging from informers to volunteers, from vigilantes to community organizers. In this expert seminar we explore how new digital technologies transform the participation of citizens in policing, and enable new modes of involving citizens in reporting, combatting or preventing crime, nuisance, or asocial behavior. We seek to shed a light on the plurality of platforms, apps, digital communities and participatory surveillance technologies that both facilitate and constrain citizens’ involvement in policing, within and beyond existing state structures. This seminar concludes Phase I of the PUL-MOBIL (Producing Urban Legibility: Mobile City Applications and the Local Governance of Minor Offences) project of the Crime & Society research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels), in collaboration with the Brussels’ municipality of Schaarbeek. This international seminar brings together prominent scholars on urban and digital policing, vigilantism and municipal governance together with practitioners from Brussels and beyond.  The seminar will take place in a hybrid mode, with participants on-site in Brussels, and a live online broadcast for those who unable to attend in person.

Programme (subject to change):

10:00 Welcome time (coffee)
10:20 Introduction by prof. Lucas Melgaço

Panel 1:

  • dr. Lior Volinz (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CRiS)
  • prof. Daniel Trottier (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • dr. Katerina Hadjimatheou (University of Essex)
  • Discussant: prof. Lucas Melgaço

Including Q&A.

12:15 Lunch break (provided on-site)

Panel II

Including Q&A.



You can choose either to participate in-person, or to receive a link to the online web-stream. If you opt to join us virtually, the link to the event will be sent to you one day in advance.

The event will follow current Covid-19 guidelines, including the wearing of mouth-and-nose masks indoors. Joining the lunch will require a valid Covid Safe Ticket.

This seminar is organized by the Crime & Society research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in cooperation with the municipality of Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek, and with the support of Innoviris, the Brussels regional research agency.