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Research centre
Communication and Computing Research Centre


Information Technology and Interactions 


Early pursuit against organised crime using environmental scanning, the law and intelligence systems

Organised crime is becoming more diverse in its activities and methods, including “greater levels of collaboration between criminal groups, greater mobility in and around the EU, a diversification of illicit activity, and a growing dependence on a dynamic infrastructure, anchored in key locations and facilitated by widespread use of the Internet” (the Director of Europol, in his foreword to the OCTA 2011 report). An important means for law enforcement in combating such crime is strategic early warning which is heavily dependent on an efficient and effective environmental scanning.

For this, the e-POOLICE project will—in close collaboration with law enforcement partners, as well as criminological and legal experts—develop a prototype of an environmental scanning system implementing solutions applying the most promising technological advances and breakthroughs as provided by the RTD partners. The solutions will be tested and evaluated through running realistic use-case scenarios that are developed by our user partners.

Central to the solution is the development of an environmental knowledge repository of all relevant information and knowledge, including scanned information and derived, learned or hypothesised knowledge, as well as the metadata needed for credibility and confidence assessment, traceability, and privacy protection management. For effective and efficient utilisation, as well as for inter-operability, the repository will apply a standard representation form for all information and knowledge.

For effective and efficient scanning of the raw information sources, the project will develop an intelligent environmental radar that will utilise the knowledge repository for focusing the scanning. A key part of this process is semantic filtering for identification of data items that constitutes weak signals of emerging organised crime threats, exploiting fully the concept of crime hubs, crime indicators, and facilitating factors, as understood by our user partners.

For more information please visit the e-POOLICE website.

Researchers involved

Constantinos Orphanides - Researcher

Dr Simon Andrews  - Reader in Computer Science

Related projects

CENTRIC - CENTRIC is a multi-disciplinary and end-user centric research body at Sheffield Hallam University.

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