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From EU a new intelligence ecosystem to fight terrorism and organised crime

The EU is financing a new intelligence ecosystem to fight terrorism and organized crime: the COPKIT project

The EU is financing a new intelligence ecosystem to fight terrorism and organized crime. In the last days, researchers from 16 different organisations (from law enforcement, academia, industry, legal, ethics and privacy committees) in 13 European countries met in Madrid to launch the EU-funded COPKIT project. It aims to create an intelligence and knowledge ecosystem for Law enforcement agencies (LEA), in order to support prevention, investigation and mitigation in the context of the fight against OCT organisations. The 2-day event was attended by 40 people who reviewed the objectives and structure of the project, including management, internal procedures, external advisory boards and LEAs’ involvement. The meeting was also dedicated to ethics, privacy and data protection, as well as to the plans for dissemination, exploitation and communication of COPKIT results.

The use of new information and communication technologies by OCT groups, or criminals is a key challenge for policymakers and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA)

While organised crime and terrorist groups are often at the forefront of technological innovation for planning, executing and concealing their criminal activities, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) lag behind when tackling criminal activities. It has been reported by EU CORDIS. Within this “cat and mouse” scenario, the use of new information and communication technologies by OCT groups, or criminals is a key challenge for policymakers and LEAs due to the complexity of the phenomenon, the number of factors and actors involved.  “Technological development is the great game changer of our present and future. Anticipation is the way forward for LEAs to change the situation from lagging behind innovation in criminal behaviour to being ahead of the curve,” says Raquel Pastor, Senior Consultant at Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España (ISDEFE) and coordinator of the COPKIT project.

The COPKIT project focuses on the problem of analysing, preventing, investigating and mitigating the use of new information and communication technologies by organised crime and terrorist groups

 The COPKIT project focuses on the problem of analysing, preventing, investigating and mitigating the use of new information and communication technologies by organised crime and terrorist groups. This question is a key challenge for policymakers and Law Enforcement Agencies due to the complexity of the phenomenon, the number of factors and actors involved. EUROPOL, the European Policy Agency, is the head of COPKIT’s Advisory Board. In its Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) report (“Crime in the Age of Technology”) last year, EUROPOL said that “This is now, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing LEAs around the world.”

The project has received the Grant Agreement No 786687 under the European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation Programme

“To be able to act earlier, earlier and better knowledge and intelligence are required. That’s why we will develop a toolkit supporting the Early Warning/Early Action methodology and enabling LEAs to stay ahead of the curve of new developments in the use of technology by organised crime and terrorist groups,” says Ms Pastor. EW explains how crimes are evolving, identifying “weak signals”, warnings, new trends, and forms a basis for assisting decision-makers, at both strategic and operational levels, in order to develop EA (preparedness, mitigation, prevention and other security policies). With the involvement of technical, academic (criminology) and LEA partners from various EU countries, the COPKIT project will adopt the EW/EA methodology and the required technical support to make the approach implementable by LEAs. COPKIT – Technology, training and knowledge for Early-Warning/Early-Action led policing in fighting Organised Crime and Terrorism – has received Grant Agreement No 786687 under the European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

Who are behind COPKIT

COPKIT is coordinated by Raquel Pastor, Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España (ISDEFE), (ES). Its partners include Thales Nederland BV (NL), IBM Ireland Limited (IE), Trilateral Research LTD (UK), Legind Technologies AS (DK), Universidad De Granada (ES), Kentro Meleton Asfaleias (GR), Law and Internet Foundation (BG), AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GMBH, (AT), Ministerio Del Interior (ES), Hochschule Fur Den Offentlichen Dienst In Bayern (D), Inspectoratul General al Politiei Romane (RO), Glavna Direktsia Borba S Organiziranata Prestupnost, (BG), Iekslietu Ministrijas Valsts Policija Sta Te Police Of The Ministry Of Interior (LV), Ministere De L’interieur (F), Police Federale Belge (BE).

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