Mixing up prevalence and types of crime in comparing majority and minority adolescents in the Netherlands

“This is not criticizing, it is hurting”

In 2013 Andre van Delft and I wrote a a so-called ‘non-peer-review’ of an article published in the journal Psychology, Crime, and Law. This was the final reaction of the journal:

I went through your submission for Psychology, Crime, and Law and decided to reject it outright. The scope of the manuscript is not aimed at furthering any scientific point, but mostly bashing the authors of the original paper. Besides that, your tone is hardly less offensive than in the previous draft. I therefore decided to follow the reviewers of the first draft and not publish your manuscript.
You are of course now free to submit the paper elsewhere should you choose to do so.

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Request for paper retraction to Psychology, Crime and Law

To the editors of Psychology, Crime & Law:

Dr Theresa Gannon – Director of the Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP), Keynes College, University of Kent, UK
Professor Peter van Koppen  – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Professor Brian H. Bornstein  –  Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, USA

Subject: request for paper retraction

Rijswijk, 8 January 2013

Dear editors,

In Psychology, Crime & Law, Volume 17, Issue 6, 2011 you published the paper

Veen, VC, Stevens, GWJM, Doreleijers, TA, & Vollebergh, WAM (2011). “Moroccan adolescent suspect offenders in the Netherlands: Ethnic differences in offender profiles”.

We request retraction of this paper because its discussion section contains a major falsehood. Moreover, this falsehood is supposed to be substantiated by 3 pages of statistical analyses, but these do not hold under scrutinization.

In the discussion section, the authors write that it is important to disclose to the public that criminal behaviour of young Moroccans is generally less severe than the criminal behaviour of indigenous young people:

Despite these limitations, the findings presented here point to the fact that Moroccan and native Dutch adolescents have highly distinctive offender profiles, showing that ethnic differences in the nature of crime cannot be ignored in research comparing the development of delinquent behaviour in ethnic minority and majority youths.

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Dutch criminologists lied

In September 2009, researchers from the University of Utrecht published the report “Marokkaanse jeugddelinquenten: een klasse apart?” (“Moroccan youth offenders: a class apart?“). A terrible whitewash, culminating in an item on Dutch national TV (news show NOVA) with researcher Gonneke Stevens. After an introduction by Stevens the interviewer said: “Simply put: Moroccans steal more; Dutch rape more and commit more senseless violence and all kinds of other scary things.” The researcher said: “If you would like to put it this way, you can say so, yes.”

That was pure deception. Moroccan adolescents commit on average more often than Dutch adolescents also the more serious crimes; this even emerges from raw data contained in the report by Stevens. I have then urged the researcher to rectify her public statement. She did not answer. I filed a complaint for academic fraud with the Executive Board (CvB) of the university. In December the Commission on Scientific Integrity (CWI) heard me (and thereafter the researchers).

In March 2010, the CWI sent out a preliminary conclusion. It includes: Lees verder