Innovation & Technology

Innovation and technology

Innovation, foresight and anticipation are still largely absent from local security policies even though they concern domains that are undergoing profound sociological and technological changes. New technologies in particular have a huge impact on urban security.

Video surveillance, artificial intelligence, mobile apps, social networks, Big Data, Bitcoints, drones… new technologies have opened new fields of action for both security actors and criminals. Furthermore, as shown in many practices across Europe, they facilitate the participation of citizens in their own security. While offering real opportunities, they raise ethical questions with regard to the respect of privacy and fundamental rights.

Public security policies remain largely static because they are produced in a system that has not yet fully adapted to our hyper-connected and informed societies. They must, however, fully embrace this new field in order to both monitor it and benefit from it.

Working group

Efus is coordinating a working group on Security & Innovation, the purpose of which is to share prospective reflections and insights on innovative strategies, both in the social and the technological realms, that can be applied to urban security. Learn more

Reports from the 2024 Security, Democracy and Cities conference:
How cities fight cybercrime and what are their roles
Technology and AI: Opportunities and threats

> Positioning
Efus helps local and regional authorities to innovate, not only by better using new technologies but also by bringing social innovation to their crime prevention and security policies. Efus’ approach is based on the key principle that such policies, whether they concern the digital or the physical space, must include the respect of human rights, privacy and fundamental freedoms. Even though technologies transform the way police, public authorities and civil society act and react to crime, they do not change the fundamental principles that prevention is an effective approach to crime and that social cohesion is key to safeguarding security.

European cooperation projects

TRANSCEND – Transdisciplinary Methods for Societal Impact Assessment and Impact Creation For Security Research Technologies
  • PRoTECT – Public Resilience using Technology to Counter Terrorism (2018 – 2021), aimed to strengthen local authorities’ capabilities in public spaces protection
  • CCI –  Cutting Crime Impact (2018 – 2021), the project focused essentially on petty crime that has a negative impact upon citizens
  • Medi@4sec, led by the University of Warwick (GB), on the role of social media in enhancing public security (2016-2017)
  • Efus was a partner in the SURVEILLE project (Surveillance : Ethical Issues, Legal Limitations and Efficiency) (2012-2015)
  • Efus led the Citizens, Cities and Video Surveillance project (2009-2010) on video surveillance and the legal questions it raises

Publications & Ressources

Practice sheets

Discover the actions implemented in communities across Europe through our summary documents, which present the key elements of each of these initiatives, including their context, objectives, activities, budget, evaluation. All of our practice and summary sheets can be found on Efus Network.