The aim of this paper is to scrutinize the Dutch property market from the angle of crime‐inducing conditions and circumstances.
The perspective adopted is in line with recent developments in the study of crime and crime prevention, which focus not so much on perpetrators, as on the opportunities they have to commit a criminal offence.
Despite the exploratory character of the analysis, it can be concluded that the real estate sector lends itself very well to an entwining of regular and irregular activities. Real estate has become booming business, attracting domestic and foreign investment. The market is closed, dominated by old boy networks, with possibilities to conceal irregularities. Regulations, law enforcement and (both formal and informal) control seem to be inadequate. Hence, it is less transparent than other markets and enables legitimate and illegitimate entrepreneurs to meet, co‐operate and share expertise and knowledge.
Strategies to prevent serious forms of crime in the real estate sector vary from self‐regulation and administrative measures to public and private policing. The various public and private institutions tend to stick to a primarily domestically oriented approach, whilst social research in this area is still predominantly based on national studies. The author recommends that comparative, multidisciplinary empirical research on irregularities and crime in the real estate sector in various (European) countries needs to be conducted.
This is one of the first attempts to apply principles of analysis of potential crime‐inducing vulnerabilities to the real estate sector.
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