Criminologist Yarin Eski: ‘More attention to the deeper causes of drug crime’

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Criminologist Yarin Eski: 'More attention to the deeper causes of drug crime'

Criminologist Yarin Eski states in an interview with Follow The Money (FTM) that more police capacity is needed to tackle middle management in crime, and more attention to inequality as a cause of crime. ‘The money launderers, the bankers, the recruiters: try to round them up as actively as the extortionists.’

Image: the police arrest thieves in the port of Rotterdam.


Yarin Eski (1985) conducted criminological research in the port into catching perpetrators. He sees this as combating the effects of problems with much deeper causes. ‘I understand why so much attention and money goes to it. Those swipers are low-hanging fruit: put the cameras on them and pick them up. There is also increasing attention for corrupt port employees.’

Yarin Eski (photo VU University)

But Eski believes that little attention is paid to the deeper questions, he says at FTM: ‘Why do young boys sometimes still take drugs from the containers. And why do dock workers engage in drug crime, while they still have a good income.’

According to the scientist, the cause of their crime lies in a very large social inequality, which we as a society do not dare to touch. ‘It is difficult for the judiciary to accept that the suspects are also victims of that inequality.’


According to the criminologist, the classic victim mentality in politics and the judiciary has made way for a tough on crime rhetoric. ‘That shift blinds us to the fact that many delinquent young people are hidden away in certain neighborhoods and have been marginalized by society into seasoned criminals. But then they stand somewhere in the cold, scoffing at an extraction job, with all the dangers that entails. That is a reality that they discover too late.’

Legalization of drugs

Eski is in favor of the legalization of drugs. ‘Leave heavy taxes on drugs, put that money into investigating crimes that currently go unpunished, put it into addiction care. Deal with it a little more maturely, have a little more confidence in the citizen.’

But if the investigative capacity now apparently has to be used to combat drugs: ‘Don’t just concentrate it on tackling drug addicts, while you could also consider that we should do more on prevention. That we should focus the investigation on medium-sized boys and girls, or on the criminal middle class.’ Eski then points out the architects, the money launderers, the bankers, the recruiters: try to roll them up just as actively.’


He also criticizes the endless talk about the ‘integral approach’ to ‘undermining’. Collaboration has become a goal in itself. “But to what extent has organized crime been reduced?”

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