Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CITYCoP Report Summary

Project ID: 653811
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CITYCoP (Citizen Interaction Technologies Yield Community Policing)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Productive citizen interaction with law enforcement authorities (LEA) is at the core of all police work. Theories underlying Community Policing (CP) received new impetus with the recent advent of smartphones. The last years have seen a rapid surge of smartphone apps aimed at improving crime reporting and other forms of interaction. Yet these apps are characterised by a predominantly Anglo-Saxon approach. CITYCoP examines why the EU appears to be lagging behind although CP is nominally a policy which has been put into action in a number of EU countries. CITYCoP examines what are the common features and the best practices embraced by apps which may have been successful and determine why apparently promising ones failed. It then goes on to produce a uniquely European solution including a smartphone app and portal which are capable of being deployed in every European city while still retaining the “local flavour” and diversity which would appear to be a key for success. These ICT solutions are designed to be fully compliant with strict data protection laws. Training including use of serious games, is developed to encourage engagement in CP. CITYCoP will pilot in Bucharest, Lisbon, Florence and Sheffield.

In order to achieve this CITYCoP has the following objectives:
1: To analyse the social, cultural, legal and ethical issues that affect the building of trust in community policing through technology.
2: To identify and address previous failures / limitations in the use of technology in community policing by reviewing existing practices worldwide.
3: To understand how the use of technology (including mobile apps and social software) in community policing models is received by LEAs and citizens in selected European cities and the factors that contribute to success in terms of building trust and improving crime reporting.
4: To produce a uniquely European technical solution including a smartphone app and an on-line portal which are capable of being deployed in every European city while still retaining the “local flavour” and diversity.
5: To develop a system (complete with portal for information handling, central architecture, mobile app and social media support) to TRL6 level with the aim to facilitate information sharing and trust building between citizens and LEAs and to pilot the CITYCoP system in four diverse major cities and their surroundings (Bucharest, Lisbon, Florence and Sheffield).
6: To train LEAs and citizens through serious gaming to facilitate the right information sharing that will allow LEAs to prevent, detect and prosecute criminal behaviour efficiently.
7: To carry out a complete data protection and ethical audit of the CITYCoP system.
8: To develop a CITYCoP Toolkit that can be used by other cities inside and outside Europe which may want to adopt the CITYCoP system.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the first 18 months of the project the following work was performed:
A. Analysis of Best Practices: Successes and Failure of Community Policing (CP): WP2 carried out an in-depth overview of 275 applications that have been used in CP initiatives in the US and in Europe. From this analysis, a number of strengths and failures and best practices were identified.
WP3 analysed theories of CP and the explanations documented in literature for the success and failure of CP. This was further complemented by an in-depth analysis of best practice models of CP being promoted in literature (WP13).
- Citizens’ trust in CP: Trust is central in the building of any productive cooperation between citizens and LEAs. By using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, WP4 identified factors that will lower citizens’ perceptions of insecurity, and increase the use of CP tools within different social and cultural backgrounds.
- Legal and Ethical implications of CP practices: A dual level analysis of the legal and ethical implications was carried out: a. a fundamental rights analysis of CP identified what rights are in the foreground when considering the introduction of CP. This included the right to private life to rights surrounding a right to a fair trial (WP11) and an analysis of the the legal and ethical implications of using smart surveillance systems in particular in combination with CP strategies (WP14). b. a privacy-by-design methodology was designed and is being followed in the building of the CITYCoP tools.
B. Establishing the CITYCoP app functionality: In establishing the CITYCoP app functionality the project explored both LEAs ‘wish-lists’ and citizens’ ‘wish-list’ for such a system. Through workshops and interviews with LEAs and focus groups with citizens in six cities the CITYCoP app functionality ensure that they meet the needs of both LEAs and citizens. The results obtained are used used in the ‘Preparing the technical blue-prints’; and ‘Systems Architecture, Serious Gaming and Training’ streams.
C. Designing the CITYCoP tools: Based on the CITYCoP app functionality, the technical blue prints for the tools were designed and a prototype has been prepared.
D. Serious Gaming: Two sets of serious games were prepared: (i) a Citizen Engagement Game which is made up of three different systems: a face construction game; a face matching game and a face and car matching game. (ii) a training game for LEA officers based on scenario building and reaction.
E. Mid-term Public Conference: the “CITYCoP Forum – Smart Solutions for Citizen Safety” was held in Rome on 14 - 15 November 2016. It was well attended and an important opportunity to discuss with external stakeholders on trust in community policing and the role of technology in CP.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

- No prior research has as extensively analysed the successes and failures in the use of technology in CP initiatives: the work in WP2 is very extensive and innovative;
- The ‘in-the-moment’ research examining fear of crime in everyday life (in WP4) through the use of a smartphone app is innovative and together with the four-stage methodology developed in WP4 has not be done before. The result of this new methodology allows for greater understanding of the contexts surrounding and reasons why citizens have used and will consider using CP smartphone apps has been developed. These results will be used to inform the development of the CITYCoP app itself;
- The legal research on the legal basis of ‘CP’ is innovative and has not been previously documented in literature;
- The functionality of the CITYCoP was prepared based on wishlists from both LEAs and very importantly citizens; In most previous attempts, functionality was based on LEA needs rather than on both LEA and citizen needs.
The project expects to achieve the following four main impacts:
-Strengthened CP 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

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