In honor of his contributions to advancing criminology’s knowledge of how crime patterns form in space and time, Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology will confer an honorary doctorate on Professor P. Jeffrey Brantingham (Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles). In his research on how the environment shapes crime, Professor P. Jeffrey Brantingham has laid the foundation of predictive policing algorithms. The honorary doctorate will be awarded on March 24, 2023, 3.30 p.m. during the Ghent University Dies Natalis celebration in the Aula of Ghent University.
In addition to being a recognition for Professor P. Jeffrey Brantingham’s interdisciplinary and multifaceted contribution to criminology and a token of gratitude for the ways in which he shaped the discipline, the honorary doctorate is also an expression of the track record built by Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology in spatiotemporal criminology and applications of big data policing. In 2020, Professor Christophe Vandeviver (Ghent University) received a Ghent University Research Council Research Professorship to pursue research in spatiotemporal criminology. Most recently in January 2023, Professor Wim Hardyns (Ghent University) was awarded a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant by the European Commission to expand his research on big data policing. Combined this has led to the establishment of a center of expertise on the spatial and temporal analysis of crime and applications of big data policing.
In the lead-up to the conferral of the honorary doctorate, Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology is organizing a study seminar on the future of big data policing in the Belgian police. During this study seminar, Professor P. Jeffrey Brantingham will share his expertise and insights regarding predictive policing. Professors Christophe Vandeviver and Wim Hardyns will introduce the expertise on this topic that has been developed within the Faculty, paying close attention to how law enforcement can benefit from this expertise.
The study seminar takes place on Wednesday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. in Zebrastraat.
Participation is free, but registration is required.
Program (chair: Prof. dr. Christophe Vandeviver)
- 13.00 – 13.30: Walk-in with coffee
- 13.30 – 13.35: Word of welcome & program | Prof. dr. Michel Tison, Dean of the Faculty of Law & Criminology
- 13.35 – 13.55: Big data & spatiotemporal crime research: an overview | Prof. dr. Christophe Vandeviver, Research professor of Criminology
- 13.55 – 14.25: Keynote: predictive policing & big data--why, what, and how? | Prof. dr. Jeff Brantingham, Professor of Anthropology at UCLA & Doctor Honoris Causa UGent 2023
- 14.25 – 14.45: BIGDATPOL: Towards an evidence-based model for big data policing | Prof. dr. Wim Hardyns, ERC Grant winner 2023 #ERCCoG
- 14.45 – 15.10: Research pitches | dr. Kuralarasan Kumar, Thom Snaphaan, Maite Dewinter, Robin Khalfa, dr. Laure De Cock
- 15.10 – 15.40: Coffee break
- 15.40 – 16.00: Data protection & AI | Prof. dr. Gert Vermeulen, Professor of International and European Criminal Law & Data Protection
- 16.00 – 16.55: Police & big data in Belgium: Reflections from police practice
- 16.00 – 16.10: Police & big data in Belgium: Are the federal police ready to take up the challenge? | Wim Liekens, Chief Commissioner eng. MSc, Director police information & ICT (CIO), Belgian Federal Police
- 16.10 – 16.20: Police & big data in Belgium: Are the local police ready to take up the challenge? | Eva Braeckman, Advisor Specialist data analytics, Antwerp Local Police
- 16.20 – 16.30: Police & big data in Belgium: The role of big data policing in police criminal investigations | Erik Snoeck, Chief Commissioner, Director-General Federal Judicial Police, Belgian Federal Police (TBC)
- 16.30 – 16.40: Reflections from a police dedicated Data Protection Authorituy & oversight body | Frank Schuermans, Chairman a.i. Supervisory Body for Police Information
- 16.40 – 16.55: Police & big data in Belgium: Reflections from the Federal Parliament and the Federal Parliamentary Committee on the Interior | Koen Metsu, Mayor of Edegem, vice-chairman Committee on the Interior
- 16.55 – 17.00: End & word of thanks | Prof. dr. Christophe Vandeviver
- 17.00 – 18.30 Networking drink