The first 2022 Commission meetings, organized under the Portuguese Presidency, were held by Videoconference on 18 and 20 January 2022.
In light of the theme “Security Threats arising from Globalization 4.0” established for 2022, the New Technologies and Logistics (NTL) Commission focused on the subtheme “Artificial Intelligence applied to policing – Predictive Policing“.
The growing globalization of security threats and the inherent sophistication of criminal networks, equipped with new forms of organization, technological advances, and new modus operandi, have substantially shaped the operational environment in which Security Forces operate, consequently implying ongoing updating and modernization of the policing models and technological tools adopted.
In view of this operational environment, Security Forces of different States have been implementing new methodologies of police proactivity, towards predicting danger and anticipating criminal incidents, emerging in this context the concept of predictive policing, characterised by the analysis of large databases (Big Data) to identify patterns and trends that may allow for predicting future occurrences.
Predictive policing, besides gathering elements of the different types of policing, such as community and proximity policing, and using geographic information systems, namely regarding crime mapping and computerized statistics, is currently enhanced using artificial intelligence, which allows for enhancing police results to unprecedented levels of efficiency.
Thus, the aim at the New Technologies and Logistics Commission meeting was to foster discussion on the technological developments in artificial intelligence, applied to the policing models implemented by the Security Forces, with special emphasis on the concept of predictive policing and the use of Artificial Intelligence systems to increase the capabilities of their Intelligence Units/Bodies.
In the current security context, there are different issues such as the democratization of knowledge, from which was highlighted the access to new technologies and cyberspace for all citizens, including criminal groups, which, as a result, have been developing new ways of acting, hindering the police work. The development of social networks and messaging applications, as well as the existence of large databases available, have also been a huge challenge, the spread of which has increased the concerns of the security forces, with a particular impact on the pandemic context currently under way.
Thus, it was debated the new paradigm arising, characterized by rapid development and high level of participation, largely influenced by digital transformation and the emergence of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things or Blockchain.
These characteristics, as well as their continuous changes, leave an indelible mark on our era, driving security forces to adapt their policing models and criminal investigation techniques, moving from merely reactive to predictive models, in which analytical capacity, technology, in particular at the level of integrating artificial intelligence algorithms into their intelligence production cycles, assume a prominent role, enabling police forces to anticipate the occurrence of crimes, enhancing a safer social environment.
However, these changes are accompanied by legal restrictions and impositions, with special emphasis on the use of Artificial Intelligence, data protection and social ethics, which are important to consider in the field of security forces work.
These challenges shall undoubtedly be more easily addressed by improving mechanisms for sharing knowledge and increasing cooperation between security forces.