Maximising the Security and Safety of Citizens by Strengthening the Connection between the Police and the Communities They Serve.
This paper provides a discussion on the objectives, approach and findings of the EU H2020 funded UNITY project. The project aims to strengthen the connection between the police and the communities they serve by providing a suite of ICT tools to improve collaboration, cooperation and information sharing between LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) and the communities they serve. The paper defines the underlying concept of community policing, before moving into a discussion about the developed ICTs and the empirical research underpinning their development and the subsequent approach used to test them. Within, we build upon the theoretical notion that ICTs in isolation do little to break down existing cultural, socio-economic and other embedded factors that contribute to absences in collaboration between citizen groups and the police. Instead, ICTs are an important mechanism at can be used to reinforce existing cultures of collaboration and trust, providing an additional vector through which citizens can make a contribution in their local communities, and through which police can be made contextually aware of local crime issues.
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