Victims on the Job: A Criminal Event Perspective on the Dynamics Underlying Physical Violence Against Police Officers

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Mathematical and quantitative methods not elsewhere classified
    • Causes and prevention of crime
    • Criminological theories
    • Safety, prevention and police
    • Criminology not elsewhere classified
Violence Against Police Criminal Event Perspective Quantitative Criminology
Project description

I adopt an event based approach to study physical violence against police officers. I acknowledge the interplay between individual and contextual factors and their combined impact, as well as the possible social transmission of physical violence within professional social networks on the likelihood of physical violence against police. Theoretical models based on previous research represent a fractured explanation and do not fully capture the complexity of this event for three reasons: (1) Extant studies on physical violence against police have mostly focused on the role of individual and contextual characteristics independently of each other, and have not been able to address the interplay between these factors (2) These studies are compounded by the predominance of correlational or associational analyses, lacking a sufficiently specified causal model (3) The extent to which behavioral patterns that increase the likelihood of falling victim to physical violence among police officers are transmitted through social contact, remains unexamined to this day. The central aim of my study is to establish the dynamics underlying physical violence against police officers. I integrate an event based approach, which allows me to take into account the possible interplay of individual characteristics and contextual factors in addition to their independent effects, with a network approach to assess the extent to which physical violence is transmitted within police officers’ social networks.