'Street policing in a smart society'






Tuesday September 17th 2019 - Ghent University


Conference in cooperation with the Working group on Policing of the European Society of Criminology ESC and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

Police and policing services face increasing challenges as our society has evolved and is evolving on a daily basis towards a more complex, diverse, enhanced and digital (in short: smart) society in which technology and digital evolutions play a crucial role. Societal changes imply and require changes in police and policing, yet adapting to these fast-changing contexts is not as easy as it may seem.

We do see important oscillations in police organizations all over the world in general and in Western European countries in particular. Often, these changes are set up with a view on effectiveness and efficiency (in many cases accompanied by a centralization of police services). Fyfe, Terpstra en Salet (2019) argue that these changes might generate some unintended changes in the police organization.  They stipulate that the police have become more at a distance, more impersonal and formal, less direct, and more decontextualized (Fyfe, Terpstra & Salet, 2019; Terpstra, 2018; Terpstra & Fyfe, 2014, 2015)). The abstract police are also less dependent on personal knowledge of officer(s), as this is increasingly being replaced by ‘system knowledge’, framed within the ‘logic’ and categorizations of computer data systems (Ericson & Haggerty, 1997 as cited in Fyfe et al, 2019).

In spite of these organizational adaptations, some authors say that dramatically little has changed in regard to policing. Loftus (2008) for example explains that the adaptations remain mostly surface level changes, that have not changed the intrinsic nature of police forces. Police culture, in her view, is therefore still associated with cynicism, suspicion, machismo, and a crime-fighting mind-set. Other authors still consider the male dominated managerial culture of the police as well (Silvestri, 2018, Osterlind and Haake, 2010), although there are, undoubtedly, positive evolutions in diverse fields, such as the gender element and the opportunities for ‘outsiders’ to enter the police force (though both groups still stumble upon a number of difficulties) (Silvestri, 2018). 

O’Neill and Fyfe (2017) signal other tensions in the field of policing such as the impact of private policing on the policing landscape (that in many cases has evolved towards a plural policing landscape). On a more specific level, issues concerning the increased demands for police education, the impact of technology on policing and legitimacy, the problematic search for human capital,… also urge us to look ahead and to challenge police researchers and practitioners to contemplate on the current strains on policing.

In this conference, we aim to grasp the different evolutions and non-evolutions that surround policing in the current social and societal climate, and stimulate readers to think about the future of policing, taking the changed contexts and challenges into account.

After the conference all conference attendants will be invited to join the 30 years celebration party at Gaston Rooftop Bar in Ghent.


Preliminary program

Chair: Antoinette Verhage (Ghent University, Belgium)

9:30:   Welcoming by Dirk Van Daele, president of Flemish Centre for Policing and Security CPS

9h40: Welcoming on behalf of the ESC Working Group on Policing
Jacques de Maillard (CESDIP, France), Tom Cockcroft (Leeds Beckett University, UK) and Martin Innes (Cardiff University, UK).on behalf of the ESC Working Group on Policing

9h50: ‘Abstract Police’
Jan Terpstra (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands), Nicholas Fyfe (University of Dundee, Schotland) and Renze Salet (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands)

10h20: Police Culture
Bethan Loftus (Bangor University, UK)

10h50: Coffee break

11h15:  Gender & Diversity
Marisa Sylvestri (University of Kent, UK)

11h45: Plural Policing
Megan O’Neil (Dundee University, Scotland)

12h15:  Legitimacy and Technology
Liz Ashton (Napier University Scotland - SIPR, Scotland)

13h00-14h00: Lunch

14h00-15h00:  Workshops 1 & 2 (parallel workshops)

Workshop 1: Predictive policing and technology
Chair: Wim Hardyns (Ghent University, Belgium)


Workshop 2: Workshop Policing-Science nexus
Chair: Marleen Easton (Ghent University, Belgium)

15h00-16h00 : Workshops 3 & 4 (parallel workshops)

Workshop 3: Police education in Europe… on its way to Bologna II?
Chair: Sofie De Kimpe (VUB, Belgium)


Workshop 4: Discretion in policing
Chair: Antoinette Verhage (Ghent University, Belgium)

16h15-17:00 : Discussion with panel and audience


  • Jan Terpstra(Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands),
  • Nicholas Fyfe (University of Dundee, Schotland) 
  • Clifford Shearing (University of Cape Town, South Africa) (to be confirmed)
  • Philip Stenning (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia) (to be confirmed)
  • Adam Crawford (University of Leeds, UK)
  • Paul Ponsaers (Prof. Emeritus Ghent University)

Moderator: Sofie De Kimpe


19h00: Evening program 

After the conference all conference attendants will be invited to join the 30 years celebration party at Gaston Rooftop Bar in Ghent.

18h00: Reception with speeches and awards

19h00: Walking dinner

21h00: Party



Tuesday, 17th September 2019 



Conference: Ghent University
Law & Criminology Faculty - campus Aula

Universiteitstraat 4, B-9000 Ghent
Auditorium C


30 years CPS celebration party: Gaston Rooftop Bar

Hurstweg 8, 9000 Gent





Online registration on this page (see below) as from March 25th 2019.

Registration fee

The registration fee for the whole conference is 145 Euros including drinks, coffee breaks, lunch break, reception and conference book. Structural partners of the CPS get a 10% dscount. 

The registration fee for the 30 years celebration party at Gaston Rooftop Bar is 60 Euros, including reception, walking dinner and party.

Payment upon receipt of an invoice. The invoice will be sent by email. Please mention invoice address, email and details if required. 

Cancellation is free until 3 days before the event.



For the Belgian police members, the conference will be accepted as a continued training.

For the Belgian magistrates, the conference and the workshops a request for payment by the Institute of Judicial Training will be introduced.



Centre for Policing and Security VZW, Nathalie Roegiers, Pacificatielaan 27, B-9000 Gent,

tel. +32 476 20 29 40 



Online registration

Online registration is possible from March 25th 2019.

[ keer terug naar de vorige pagina ]


Programma activiteiten (onder voorbehoud)

  • 14 februari 2019: Cahiers op de campus: Seminar en openbare les: Onderwijs en opleiding van de politie, Den Haag (gratis deelname) VOLZET !
  • 28 februari 2019: Studiedag ‘Politie in een federale staat. Nieuwe inzichten in de politiestructuur’, Poliscenter (RAC – Polis Center), Brussel
  • 22 maart 2019:  Studiedag: Een gedeeld beroepsgeheim voor politie en hulpverlening: vanzelf sprekend?, PAC Het Zuid, Gent
  • 16 mei 2019: Studiemiddag Cahiers op de campus: ‘Intrafamiliaal geweld’, Avans Hogeschool Den Bosch (NL)
  • 17 september 2019: Internationale conferentie ter gelegenheid van 30 jaar CPS: ‘Street policing in a smart society’ (ENG), Universiteit Gent + jubileumfeest
  • Studiedag over de schaalgrootte van de politiezones (onder voorbehoud van bevestiging)
  • Studiedag over bestuurlijke handhaving (onder voorbehoud van bevestiging)
  • Oktober 2019 Seminaries over de implementatie van de CP3 (organisatiebeheersing politie)
  • November 2019: Studiedag ‘Just another digital day at the police office’ 
  • November 2019: Studiedag ‘Drugbeleid voor evenementen’ 
  • December 2019: Studiedag over organisatiecultuur
  • December 2019: Studiedag over horizontaal toezicht

Voorbije activiteiten

Structureel partnership 2019

CPS-prijs voor het beste Nederlandstalige eindwerk