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?
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 3: The use of drones in cities
What opportunities and challenges ?
In recent years the use of drones in urban areas has greatly increased. They are employed to enhance urban mobility, to monitor environmental accidents and crimes, to survey public and green spaces, to control mass gatherings, to prevent illegal waste disposal, to monitor traffic, to inspect infrastructure facilities and to collect and transmit data – to name only a few use cases. The global health crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic has stirred up the public discourse on the use of drones for monitoring and surveillance purposes. The use of these technologies is also subject to criticism concerning the right to privacy and data protection. Additional risks are related to the potential of cybersecurity breaches and malicious uses of drones.
- What use cases exist today in European cities? Are drones used for tackling petty crime?
- What are the European legislative regulations concerning the use of drones?
- What are the benefits and risks of employing drones? What ethical and social considerations exist?
- Beyond the police force, what other local actors could benefit from the use of drones and to respond to what problem?
You can register via this link
Session 2: Reducing and preventing the feeling of insecurity at night. How to understand the feeling of insecurity at night and provide innovative solutions and practices to mitigate it?
Session in English
Wednesday 24 November 14h00 -15h30 CEST
The use of the city changes during night time: the needs and demands of citizens are not the same as during the day thus, the issues and possible responses should reflect these differences. At night, the usual points of reference disappear; citizens experience an increased sense of uncertainty and anxiety that feeds a specific feeling of insecurity which is only partially the result of a real threat of crime. Feelings of insecurity, especially at night, are of importance for their impact on the individual and collective well-being as well as for its economic and political consequences. Understanding which factors – for instance, personal victimisation experiences or awareness of crime as a societal issue – affect different groups’ perceptions of security helps untangle fear of crime from other emotional reactions such as situational anxiety, shock, anger or distress.
In the framework of this Working Group we invite those stakeholders that are the most concerned by this issue to discuss the following questions:
- How does the feeling of insecurity change at night?
- What concrete impacts can feelings of insecurity have?
- What methods and tools to better assess the perceived insecurity levels?
- How do different European cities deal with some of the most insecurity-generating behaviours such as street intimidation and sexual harassment?
The European forum for urban security – through its Nightlife and Security and Innovation Working Groups – and the Plateforme de la Vie Nocturne (Nightlife Platform) invite you to participate in this thematic Working Group seeking to reflect collectively on the prior listed elements. In order to launch the discussion and learn about interesting experiences we will count with the presentations from:
- Elena Guidorzi, Experientia
- Randy Bloeme, DSP Groep
- Aušra Pocienė & Aleksandras Dobryninas, Vilnius University
Registration and more details about the programme and the confirmed speakers can be found here.
If you have any questions please contact:
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.
The project CCI is financed 100% by the Horizon 2020 Security Research Programme of the European Commission