Efus web conferences on Innovation in urban security: Going into our third round

In 2018, Efus set up a working group on Security and 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.


After two rounds of web conferences and a steady growth of our audience we want to continue building on the work done so far. In the last three sessions we talked about feelings of insecurity at night, crime alerting applications and the use of drones in cities. As was the case for the first series of conferences, these sessions benefited greatly from the research done in the Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) Project, which aims to enable police and relevant local and national authorities to reduce the impact of petty crime and, where possible, prevent it from occurring in the first place. With the project entering its implementation phase, we now want to give the partners the opportunity to explain what they have learned and present the tools they have developed.

At the same time we continue deepening our understanding and exploring new angles of topics already discussed, such as crime prediction through artificial intelligence and the impact of feelings of insecurity. We are looking forward to welcoming all of you in these conversations and will continue to provide additional resources for our members on Efus network.

Session 1
Security by design: how to render public spaces
both safe and open to all

  • 31 March

On March 31st we joined forces with another EU project to discuss the merits of security by design. Looking at the work done in this field by CCI and PACTESUR we explored how this approach can deter petty crime and mitigate terrorist threats in public spaces.

learn more about the outcomes of the session by reading our article

Session 2
How to ensure a fair and transparent use of AI technologies?

  • 5 May, 14:00 – 15:00 CET

During this session, we will look at how to ensure a fair and transparent use of AI technologies. We will discuss the ethical and social risks of automated decision making but also look beyond predictive policing. In what other ways is AI used on the local level? What safeguards can be put into place to ensure ethical use of this technology?

Session 3
How to encourage high-level support for community policing?

  • 9 June, 14:00 – 15:00 CET

Community oriented policing (COP) is implemented in different ways in European countries and around the world. The terms used for the approach vary, with some countries calling it neighborhood policing (UK), territorial police work (DE) or community oriented policing (US). The Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) project defines community policing as “a strategy of policing that focuses on working closely with the community through interactions with local agencies and members of the public, as well as creating partnerships and strategies for reducing crime and disorder1. This definition echoes the six pillars of COP that were identified in the framework of the EU funded Unity Project2: trust and confidence building, accountability, information sharing and communication, addressing local needs, collaboration and crime prevention.

In researching the topic for the production of a toolbox on Community Oriented Policing3 EUCPN and CEPOL identified a set of factors for the successful implementation of the approach. These factors include the importance of collaborative security production, ensuring a two way communication between the public and the police and the need for proper training. At the top of the list is the principle of political buy-in. In whatever form community policing is delivered, it does not exist in a vacuum – it is part of a larger policing structure and strategy that is guided by political currents. Research conducted in the CCI project found that the approach suffers from a lack of high-level support and community policing officers are often diverted to other tasks and territories. Without a shift in the perception of community policing and an acknowledgment of its value in building sustainable relationships with local communities, the approach cannot be fruitful. 

A number of ideas about how to strengthen political buy-in exist: encouraging understanding of the concept of the community policing approach, highlighting scientific knowledge on its effectiveness and fostering ownership over its strategies among senior police officers. In this session, the Efus working group on Security and Innovation sets out to explore different European models of community policing, look at the challenges that community police officers face and learn about existing success factors and measures to strengthen high-level support.


  • Monica Diniz, Head of Prevention, Security and International Relations at the Lisbon Municipal Police.
  • TBC

→ Registration here

1 CCI Factsheet on community policing, available at: https://www.cuttingcrimeimpact.eu/resources/factsheets/community-policing–/
2 The Unity Project ran from 2015 to 2018 and aimed to strengthen the relationship between the police and the communities they serve. More information available at: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/653729/fr
3 Available at: https://eucpn.org/sites/default/files/document/files/Toolbox%2014_EN_LR.pdf

>> Find the working group on EfusNetwork here (members only)

>> Pauline Lesch, programme manager, lesch@efus.eu>> Pilar de la Torre, programme manager, delatorre@efus.eu

The project CCI is financed 100% by the Horizon 2020 Security Research Programme of the European Commission

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