Helping law enforcement to use innovative technologies
Effective law enforcement is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of our society. An EU-funded network is enabling law-enforcement practitioners to stay informed, engage, connect and collaborate with one another, to hone and improve their practices.
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Law-enforcement agencies need constantly to stay at the top of their game, keeping abreast of information on how to combat new and emerging criminal threats and the new tools and technologies to do the job.
The EU-funded ILEANET project is creating a sustainable, web-based network, seeking to stimulate and facilitate discussion among law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) and other law-enforcement practitioners.
The network is organised through ILEAnet National Contacts (INCs), each bringing to the table law-enforcement networks and associations from their own countries. These are joined by policymakers, academics, industrial players, and research, development and innovation (RDI) stakeholders. Law-enforcement officers and other personnel can even participate as individual network members.
With such a wide range of participants, important ideas and information can be communicated 'from the top down'. For example, information about directives, guidelines and recommendations from higher-level European and national policy realms can be funnelled directly to police officers working on the streets.
At the same time, ILEANET enables the diffusion of knowledge in the opposite direction, 'from the bottom up'. For example, information about real-life challenges faced every day by police officers can be transmitted back up to higher-level authorities.
One of the networks central aims is to strengthen the capacity of LEAs to influence the direction of RDI. The project features a database, the so-called 'knowledge factory', encompassing a broad portfolio of RDI results and new project concepts.
ILEANET monitors ongoing RDI projects of interest and the results of completed research are fed back into the knowledge factory. The network then supports and accelerates the dissemination and uptake of those results, thereby creating a powerful reference tool, enabling LEAs to influence RDI efforts by formulating and prioritising their suggestions for future research programmes, policies and standardisation efforts.
An annual ILEANET workshop disseminates key network messages and a roadmap is being published to delineate research challenges, technology needs, and gaps in law-enforcement practice.