Florence, Italy, April 2018 – Efus attended the final conference of the CITYCoP project on “Changing communities, changing policing” in Florence (Italy), on 17-18 April, during which the consortium presented the SecureU mobile application, a unique technological solution developed by the project for improving citizen engagement and the efficiency of law enforcement operations.
Funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research programme and led by the University of Groningen (NL), CITYCoP’s objective was to “look for common features and best practices embraced by successful community policing apps worldwide and produce a uniquely European solution including a smartphone app and an online portal.” It is a response to the evolution of community policing since the advent of smartphones and social media “and especially the notion of user-generated content where the users are citizens engaged in closer interaction with their local community and law enforcement agency.”
Attendees at the the two-day event were able to get an in-depth overview of the CITYCoP system, as well as practical demonstrations of the SecureU mobile application, which has been piloted in six European cities (Bucharest (RO), Dublin (IE), Florence (IT), Kildare (IE), and Lisbon (PT)).
Presentations were made about the academic research on different aspects of community policing and the results of surveys among citizens on the need and effectiveness of the SecureU app. Furthermore, numerous experts discussed the technological, practical, ethical and legal aspects of the use of the new mobile and online platforms for security and community policing..
As a partner in the Medi@4sec European project on the use of social media for security and security policies, Efus, represented by Pilar De La Torre, Programme Manager, took part in a round table on community engagement through the use of social media and other ICT platforms. Based on the Medi@4sec insights, Efus presented its approach of co-production of security between law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders such as the justice system, civil society, and the private sector.
In particular, Efus focused on the importance of citizen participation at all stages of security policy development, from design to evaluation. It stressed that although new social media platforms present unprecedented opportunities in this respect, it is also important to take into account the potential legal and ethical consequences of the direct involvement of citizens in public security.