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Understand the Dimensions of Organised Crime and Terrorist Networks for Developing Effective and Efficient Security Solutions for First-line-practitioners and Professionals

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TAKEDOWN (Understand the Dimensions of Organised Crime and Terrorist Networks for Developing Effective and Efficient Security Solutions for First-line-practitioners and Professionals)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

he TAKEDOWN Project aims to improve the European response to both forms of criminality in terms of designing effective preventative and responsive strategies and public policies, identifying best practices and most efficient tools for preventing and countering them, disseminating this knowledge among the different stakeholders involved and enhancing their cooperation and mutual cross-fertilization, ultimately offering the victims and the European general public means to get aware of these threats and risks as well as the tools and instruments at their disposal to defend themselves therefrom. OC/TN have become two matters of great concern for European governments and societies affecting social cohesion at both European Union (EU) and member state (MS) levels and calling for a response as effective as well grounded in European social and political values. This is a key notion because the profound impact of OC and TN needs to be measured not only by the economic and social harm they inflict upon European societies and economies but also by the costs that countering OC/TN has on those very same societies and economies in terms of political legitimacy, social cohesion and public expenditure. The review of strategies, policies, practices and measures put in place for countering OC/TN has shown that full compliance with fundamental rights is critical to assure this legitimacy and consequently guaranteeing ongoing public support.

The main objectives of the project are the following:
(1) ANALYSE the body of scientific knowledge, outcomes from EU-projects as well as further data and indicators that address organized crime and terrorist networks, connected with an interdisciplinary review of existing models regarding their explanatory power and their usability.
(2) UNDERSTAND the social, psychological and economic aspects of processes that lead to OC/TN and their impact on social cohesion by doing empirical research on first-line practitioners, policy makers and researchers, combined with interviews, focus groups and workshops with law enforcement agencies and other affected groups.
(3) DEVELOP dynamic, multi-dimensional models for both organized crime and terrorist networks that reflect the complexity of individual and structural dimensions, geographical scale as well as the forms and levels of responses related to different stakeholder groups and practitioners.
(4) CREATE a set of validated, research-based and multilingual TAKEDOWN Toolkits including action plans, response strategies, technological concepts, and best practices, with focus on specific needs of first-line-practitioners as well as professionals in law enforcement, and create policy recommendations and policy briefs for policy makers.
(5) BUILD a web based TAKEDOWN Open Information Hub with knowledge and public service modules, helpline navigators, toolkits and materials for practitioners, and a centralised, intelligent reporting tool on digital cases of OC/TN with modern crowd-tagging functionalities.
(6) DEVELOP a modular TAKEDOWN Solutions Platform build as a flexible PaaS hosting digital security solutions for professionals with a centralised Security Solution Dashboard that is aggregating solution activity streams and includes digital reporting tool alert visualisations.
(7) LEVERAGE the collaboration between the research community, public agencies, practitioners and industry (especially SMEs) providing a digital TAKEDOWN Professional Advisor to support the selection of the right solutions providers, experts and approaches to tackle OC/TN challenges.
At the beginning of the project, the consortium conducted a comprehensive literature, model and policy analysis as well as a broad screening and structured, commented collection of both a variety of stakeholders and public as well as digital solutions that are used for fighting OC and TN. A synthesis of the work is provided in the public report D2.6.
Based on the work that was done in WP2, the consortium conducted a comprehensive empirical research in WP3, where a mixed-methods approach was applied. The key outcomes were analysed against the background of the key literature and are published in the public report D3.6.
The work that was done in WP2 and WP3 resulted in the activities that were performed in WP4. A major achievement was the development of the concept model for assessment of cases (D4.1). Furthermore, a library of evaluated good response practices was created (D4.2). D4.3 provides structured knowledge on selected technologies in this field. Toolkits for first-line-practitioners and LEAs were conceptualized in D4.4 and the concept for the digital TAKEDOWN platforms was developed in D4.5 which highlights the platform 1 (www.firstlinepractitioners.com) and the platform 2 (www.fightcrimeterrorism.com).
WP8 is an ongoing WP and focusses on the dissemination and communication activities. For that purpose, a multi-channel approach was developed, which aims to effectively address different target groups of the project.
The second project period will include some second iterations of some previous task and - as the main focus - the development of the TAKEDOWN platforms as well as the networking, the scientific dissemination and the communication or outreach to all the different stakeholder groups.
The outcomes of TAKEDOWN increase the knowledge on OC and TN by providing a detailed empirical research and analysis against the background of the theoretical framework. Another step stone on the way towards a better understanding of OC and TN was the development of the TAKEDOWN concept model, which - as the screening of modelling approaches performed in WP2 showed - goes beyond the state-of-the-art.
The impact is supported by the dissemination activities conducted by the consortium members as well as by the communication through the project website, social media channels and the project newsletters. New videos targeting first-line-practitioners will be soon added to the YouTube channel for boosting the impact of the project on these particular stakeholder group and a public symposium is planned for 2019. Furthermore, a book proposal for an edited volume on TAKEDOWN has been sent to a well-known publisher.
To ensure that the project has an impact on the fight against crime and terrorism, the consortium has conceptualized novel model-based toolkits for first-line-practitioners and law enforcement agencies and police forces, which go beyond the state-of-the-art by using the model as the basis for the online toolkits. This is also related with the conception of the open platform for supporting first-line-practitioners. On the closed platform, LEAs can find technical solutions and solution providers can present their solutions in a dedicated demo pool.
On the medium and on the long run, TAKEDOWN is intended to have a positive impact on the safety and security in Europe. This very crucial impact is targeted through several strands of the project. More information on this impact will be provided after the upcoming project period. The same holds true for the policy recommendations, which will be developed based on the functioning and validated versions of the platforms.
Factsheet TAKEDOWN Project