Eliciting knowledge for an improved performance of law enforcement technologies

On 20-22 May 2019 the COPKIT partners met in Esbjerg, Denmark, for their second project meeting for an update on the project activities and to work together to advance the design of the project tools.

The three-day event, co-organised by our partners Legind Technologies and ISDEFE, began with the Steering Committee meeting in which the consortium discussed the details and the terms for a substantive collaboration with two sister projects, TITANIUM and ASGARD, and evaluated an exciting opportunity that has been offered to the project during their visit to the EUROPOL premises in The Hague, last February. EUROPOL leads COPKIT’s End-User & Stakeholder Advisory Board (EUSAB) and as result of this visit, different proposals for collaboration are being discussed between the two entities.

The full consortium meeting then continued with a project management session led by the coordinating partner, ISDEFE, who provided an overview of the project’s status, including deliverables, milestones and other reporting details, one year after its launch.

After this introduction, the partners examined the ethical, legal and privacy issues that the project is facing and that must be tackled for the COPKIT tools to be developed in compliance with the legal and regulatory environment, and data protection and ethical norms. Furthermore, they reviewed the goals and recent achievements of dissemination, including the next steps and measures to take to improve the stakeholder outreach and impact of the project. The morning session concluded with a presentation on the role of the COPKIT Exploitation manager and the strategy for exploiting the project’s results.

The core of the meeting was dedicated to knowledge elicitation sessions. The COPKIT approach favours technologies that can incorporate domain knowledge in order to be tuned to provide an improved performance compared to the available state-of-the-art technologies. The technical partners and the LEAs need to collaborate closely so that the domain knowledge can be incorporated in the technical components of the project tools. Therefore, the technical partners contributing to the different work packages, corresponding to different types of capabilities, held interactive sessions (Information Extraction and text processing,  population of the Knowledge base, knowledge discovery, situation assessment and forecasting) where they asked domain oriented questions to the LEAs, to gather the information that will feed into their technologies. The sessions mostly focused on the COPKIT use case “Firearm Trafficking”, for which the presence of firearms trafficking experts (among others from Guardia Civil, driver EMPACT FIREARMS) was determinant to achieve success. Finally, a session initiated the knowledge elicitation focusing on the second COPKIT use case “Crime as a Service/Data as a Commodity” achieving significant progress. Furthermore, thanks to this fruitful experience, both the technical partners and the LEAs now have a fuller understanding of the methodology leading to successful knowledge elicitation sessions, and further sessions will be organised, some of which will take place on-line.

The COPKIT project has a significant milestone in November 2019, with the first private demonstration event. The goal, story line, targeted functions and demonstration environments were therefore discussed with views from both the technical team and the LEAs.

The meeting concluded with a day of parallel sessions. LEA representatives convened in one session, to identify possible future developments of organised crime regarding the COPKIT use-cases. In a separate session, the technical team worked on a detailed plan for the November demonstration, including the demonstration story, functional gap identification, data availability and architecture of the technical demonstration environment.

What next?

Our partners Universidad de Granada and Legind Technologies are organising a special session on Data Mining & Knowledge Discovery, within the 13th International Conference on Flexible Query Answering Systems (FQAS) which will take place in Amantea, Italy, on 2-5 July, 2019.

Later this year, our partners KEMEA, in collaboration with DG Home, will be organising a large joint event which will take place in Greece on 29-31 October 2019. The objective of the event is to bring together innovative R&D security projects, practitioners, industry and academia in order to facilitate interaction and synergies.

Finally, the major milestone of COPKIT for 2019 will be the first private demonstration events during which an initial version of the technical components will be presented to the LEAs, applied to and tuned for the COPKIT use-cases.