Our work

Service, security, or both service and security?

Surveillance measures in public places such as train stations, at large events or business premises are aimed at increasing security at those specific locations. More often however, people experience these measures as an obstacle. Can we design surveillance measures in such a way that they are perceived more as a "service"?

Cameras, human surveillance, body scanners and other types of security measures, could they be perceived as a service? These measures enable people to move around securely at public (high) risk locations. In reality, people experience security measures often as a burden. Too much security often results in limitations of freedom of movement and violations of privacy. TNO studied the variables that influence whether people experience surveillance as a service or as a hindrance. At three surveillance locations (Schiphol Airport, Utrecht shopping area and Amersfoort railway station) more than three thousand visitors were surveyed. They were asked how they experienced service and security on the site. The results show how the tension between service and safety can be reduced and provide clues for improving security measures.

Service is Perception

Customer service is all about feelings and is difficult to grasp; Customer service perception can vary from person to person, day to day, and even from hour to hour. Service perception related to security is for example influenced by whether people are in a hurry, if they have to travel on a regular basis, and by what age they are. Our research shows that if people perceive security measures to be legit therefore actually contributing to their own security and to that of others, they are more satsified and less frustrated about the security experience they undergo.

Applying knowledge to practice

The research states that there are differences in service perception in relation to security measures at the three locations we studied. Also, it shows on what aspects optimalisation is possible. The results of this study can be used by owners of public locations, surveillance stakeholders or private companies for the optimalisation and redesign of a location, but also of the security measures themselves. This is not only the case for technical security measures, but also for the human security measures. The goal is to get more loyal visitors, that are less frustrated and willing to use the location frequently, and preferably that speak positively about it to others. The study and the developed measuring instruments can contribute to create this situation.

Our work

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We develop and apply knowledge in the field of social innovation. On the one hand, the focus lies on interventions for behavioural change to accelerate the acceptance of 'new' behaviour by customers and... Read more

Dr. Rick van der Kleij


Dr. Rick van der Kleij

  • social media
  • deviant behaviour
  • predictive behavioural profiling
  • virtual teams
  • safety and security research

70 years of Defence Research

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