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Ethical/Societal Dimension Topic 2: Enhancing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and citizens - Community policing

Specific challenge:

Community policing is a value system followed by a police department, in which the primary organizational goal is working cooperatively with individual citizens, groups of citizens, and both public and private organizations in order to identify and resolve issues which potentially affect the liveability (quality of life) of specific neighbourhoods, areas, or the city as a whole. Police departments which are 'community-based' acknowledge the fact that the police cannot effectively work alone and must partner with others who share a mutual responsibility for resolving problems. Community policing aims at stressing prevention, early identification, timely intervention, as well as better crime reporting, identification of risks, unreported and undiscovered crime. Individual police inspectors are encouraged to spend considerable time and effort in developing and maintaining personal relationships with citizens and different community organizations.


Proposals in this area should focus on indicating best practices for co-operation between police and citizens (communities at different level). Moreover, the proposed actions, taking into account past and on-going EU research as well as EU prevention policies, are expected to analyse ""community policing"" as an opportunity to use a community to observe their environment identify risk and exchange information. This concept based on collaboration and coordinated activities should be analysed as a system aimed at facilitating information sharing and trust building. To this end, the proposed research should also take into account the virtual dimension of “community policing” (i.e. the interaction between citizens and police officers through social networking websites) and analyse its underlying social, cultural, legal and ethical dimensions. The proposal should aim to develop a technology (e.g. application of smart phones) which will facilitate, strengthen and accelerate the communication between two groups by making it possible for community representatives to identify the risk and immediately report it to the police forces.Citizen or community representatives should be actively engaged in the research, to ensure that their perspectives are well embedded in the design of new technology and innovation.

In addition to the above, proposers should focus on trainings for law enforcement agents (for instance by means of serious games or simulations), as well as on awareness raising activities about community policing, for both police and citizens. These activities should also take the gender dimension into account. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €2m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately (similar to the FP7 Capability Projects described in the general introduction). Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

Strengthened community policing principles through effective and efficient tools, procedures and approaches.

Early identification, timely intervention, as well as better crime reporting, identification of risks, unreported and undiscovered crime through the community.

Strengthened and accelerated communication between citizens and police forces. Overall, strengthened community feeling and lower feeling of insecurity.

The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of users, such as citizens and national and local law enforcement agencies.


The outcome of the action is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6; please see part G of the General Annexes.


Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions