Security and Innovation
Efus Webconferences on Innovation in Urban Security
In 2018, Efus set up a working group on Security & Innovation that seeks to harness the opportunities of smart and hyper connected cities to improve crime prevention and urban security. The purpose is to share reflections and insights on innovative social strategies and technologies that can be applied to urban security. We consider that innovation includes not only technological tools but also social ones. We understand innovation in urban security as new solutions and new ways of approaching existing and emerging problems. These tools can aim to facilitate the understanding of problems, the definition of solutions, and the implementation and evaluation of interventions. At their core, the innovations are about shifting towards a co-production of urban security policies, both in their development and in their implementation. We will continue to deepen our knowledge on the topics already discussed, such as predictive policing, civic technology and facial recognition. At the same time we want to open the conversation to include new aspects of innovative strategies in urban security.
Efus is excited to start a second series of web conferences that will cover both technological and social innovations in the realm of urban security, as well as those that combine the two. The Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) Project, in which Efus is a partner, aims to enable police and relevant local and national authorities to reduce the impact of petty crime and, where possible, prevent crime from occurring in the first place. The idea is to support local security actors in conceiving human-centred solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the end-user. The research and findings of this project greatly nourished the first series of web conferences of our working group. In this second series, we will not only integrate aspects of the project’s focus areas but also elements of its methodology to illustrate how innovative working methods can be applied in practice.
On 30 October we will discuss crime alerting applications in their different forms. Do they allow for a better understanding of feelings of insecurity and the dark numbers of crime? Who is in charge of gathering and responding to the information? Could this be a way of building community relations for local police?
11am-12 am (CEST)
On 24 November we will discuss innovative tools to measure and mitigate feelings of insecurity at night. This discussion will be organized jointly by the Efus Working Group on Nightlife and the Working Group on Security and Innovation.
On 22 January 2021, we will explore the use of drones in cities. What are the existing use cases in Europe? Can they be considered a tool to mitigate petty crime? What are their advantages and their risks?
The objective of the working group continues to be the provision of information on new methodologies, tools and experiences that are tailored to the changing security needs of our members. We are looking forward to welcoming you again to our web conferences and on Efus Network to continue discussing old and new topics.
Session 1: Crime alerting applications – Can a better understanding of crime lead to better victim support by local security actors?
Mobile crime alerting applications and online platforms exist in different forms and for different purposes. Some aim to collect information on criminality levels in a city and offer general guidance to victims. Others focus on specific crimes, such as hate crimes or violence against women. Some offer a direct communication channel to local police services or victim support instances while others offer peer to peer support. Yet others have the objective to collect as much information as possible in order to tailor their response to the exact needs of the user.
The Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) Project project aims to enable police and relevant local and national authorities to reduce the impact of petty crime and, where possible, prevent crime from occurring in the first place. The idea is to support local security actors in conceiving human-centred solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the end-user. Crime alerting applications can help collect information of types of crime that are often underreported. In doing so, it can help authorities better understand the experiences of different groups in the community and tailor their public policies to real needs. It can also help in the definition of an integrated security model in which local authorities include all relevant stakeholders in the elaboration of solutions.
This raises a number of questions: Who should be involved in the development and implementation of such applications? Who should be informed of the alerts : the local police or other instances, such as victim support services? Should the local security actors work on joint responses with other services, for example social services? A second line of inquiry is concerned with the impact that such applications and platforms can have on public policy. Can the information collected through these applications improve security actors’ knowledge on crime and influence public policies? Can applications contribute to improve support for victims of crime and improve the relationship between vulnerable groups and institutions?
The Efus Working Group on Security and Innovation is looking forward to launching its second series of web conferences with a discussion on crime reporting applications. On October 30th we invite you to join us in discussing the following questions:
- What kind of crime alerting and victim support applications exist today in European cities and regions?
- Do these applications contribute to higher rates of crime reporting to the police? Is this data included in official police statistics?
- Do crime alerting applications allow for a better understanding of feelings of insecurity and the dark numbers of crime?
- Who is in charge of gathering and responding to the reports made via applications?
- If included in a global strategy, could these tools be a way of building community relations for local police? Should other security and prevention actors be involved?
- What ethical, legal and social aspects should be taken into account when implementing such applications?
- What obstacles, challenges and opportunities for cities with when implementing such applications?
- Robin Caroff, Technical Lead at Resonantes, a French non-profit organization that fights against violence against women and girls. Presentation of App-Elles
- Jorge González-Conejero, Executive Director of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona – Institute of Law and Technology, Faculty of Law. Presentation of RightsApp.
– Registration here –
The project CCI is financed 100% by the Horizon 2020 Security Research Programme of the European Commission