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TRusted, CItizen - LEA coILaboratIon over sOcial Networks

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TRILLION (TRusted, CItizen - LEA coILaboratIon over sOcial Networks)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31

The TRILLION project aimed at improving the collaboration between citizens and LEAs by providing multiple channels for incident reporting and interaction, fostering trust among parties and involving the discovery, acquisition, extraction and inferential analysis of relevant information from public sources according to privacy and regulations at EU and national levels. In this context, TRILLION also had as a goal to increase situational awareness by supporting LEAs in decisional processes of intervention, in order to ensure full alignment to the needs of citizens.
To achieve the above, the project focused on improving prevention of critical situations before they escalate, by easing real-time information about identified risks from citizens to police forces. This goal is reached by facilitating information sharing and effective collaboration between citizens and LEAs.
Community building is not just the creation of a relationship between LEAs and citizens, but it should be based on trust and cooperation strengthening the community feeling and lower feeling of insecurity. Cooperation and collaboration will ensure security and privacy.
Indeed, it is valuable to address the conceptual distinction between objective safety (such as crime figures) and subjective safety (such as fear of crime & trust in police). Community policing can improve both. It does often happen that objective safety improves in places, while subjective safety has not (yet) improved (for instance due to biased media reporting). Nonetheless, it is important to mention both as ultimate goals of community policing. When residents feel ownership about the way safety is dealt with in their community, this will likely also improve subjective safety. For this purpose, in TRILLION we adopted the following definition of community policing:
Community policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
During the first year of the project, community policing was analysed from different points of view (sociological, technical, legal and ethical) in order to start from a solid baseline for the development of the project.
Many use cases and scenarios have been considered, in order to find the best suitable for demonstrating the validity and the potential of TRILLION in its application domain. Legal and ethical issues were also explored in details, with a focus on the regulations in force in each nation of end-users involved in the project.
Following the identification of requirements and the selection of use cases and scenarios, the design on the TRILLION platform and the development of prototypes followed, with this work carried out mainly during the second year of the project. A user centric, privacy – by design approach described in the DoW of the project has been followed, with the provision of early prototypes, evaluation and feedback by end users, and lab testing of prototypes guiding the implementation process, and contributing to the improvement of usability of prototypes.
The release of the TRILLION platform has been done through the gradual availability of platform’s features, available for pilot testing in two pilots (alpha and beta), involving real users, both of which provided valuable feedback for fine tuning. This pilot based evaluation was implemented during the last year of the project, contributing to the dissemination of project’s results and involving stakeholders, and setting the basis over which exploitation plan has been conceived.
In parallel to the technical and evaluation, dissemination work has played an important role in the project. Dissemination activities involving making stakeholder community (both LEAs and citizens) aware of existence, capabilities and potentials of TRILLION, as well as participation in events announcing and presenting the results of the project to citizens have taken place. A dissemination strategy defined in the first year of the project was realised during the 3 years duration of TRILLION, through the participation to events and workshops on citizens security, communications with projects related to community policing, publications and active participation on social media through dedicated profile pages. Moreover, as the potential of the platform unveiled during the project’s lifetime, dissemination actions have shifted gear, trying to effectively respond to the dissemination needs of research results. In this context, participation in clustering events, use of practical tools and application (such as the TRILLION button), presentations in large public events (CES 2018, European Researchers’ night) have been implemented, with actions covering electronic and traditional media (newsletters, TV, Social media).
TRILLION enables an active engagement of the user with the neighbourhood and LEAs. The project promised the building a strong community of end-users with nearly 1000 individuals including citizens, police officers and firefighters who can collaborate using mobile as well as wearable devices. The involvement of users and stakeholders, and the dissemination activities performed during the project, lived up to these expectations. In parallel, validation of results has taken place (as planned) in 5 locations across Europe: Lecce (IT), Ancona (IT), Lisbon (PT), North England (UK) and Eindhoven (NL).
It was early noted in the project, that the sociological and cultural contextual differences between EU state members would affect at least the implementation strategy of Community Policing. For this TRILLION adopted an approach able to integrate new technologies and new components in order to adapt its services in different contexts. The result of this has been the provision of an integrated, and at the same time modular platform, able to offer a flexible deployment scheme featuring different “flavours”, matching the particular needs of deployment. The results of research performed in the project, not only have provided the technological tools needed to support community policing based on LEA-citizen trust, but have also explored the potential for embracing future technological developments, including all types of devices, such as mobile, wearables, clickers, even gesture based activation. In parallel, respect to personal privacy has been in the center of research, with the presentation of a Privacy Protecting Communication Gateway, capable of ensuring identity protection in cases where anonymity in reporting is important.
All the above, supported by state of the art tools able to harvest, process, analyze and visualize information coming from social media and individuals, form the TRILLION platform.