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3. SafeCi Workshop: A Virtual Meeting of Police and Science

Prof. Tim Landgraf from Freie Universitaet talks about the challenges and limits of artificial intelligence in facial recognition.
Image: Polizei Berlin

From 02 to 03 December 2020, the 3rd SafeCi Workshop took place as a hybrid event. 150 participants, scientists and police officers from all over Europe – they all came together in analogue and digital form.

SafeCi aims to bring science and police practice closer on specific topics: not only do they complement each other – they need each other. And always with the goal of making public space safer.

Stefan Majchrzak, SafeCi project manager: “There are many ways in which police forces, scientists and academics benefit from each other. On the one hand, scientific findings play an increasingly important role in police work, and on the other hand, police work is an important research topic.”

Above the rooftops of Berlin – in the Alice Roof Top Garden – the hybrid workshop took place under strict hygiene rules. The place resembled a TV studio – a stage at the front, high-tech in the background, cutting and streaming everything live, plus countless laptops, cameras, mics, video editing desk and digital audio console.

Enlarge photo: f.r. LKA Chief, Christian Steiof, SafeCi Project Manager, Stefan Majchrzak, Police President, Dr. Barbara Slowik
Image: Polizei Berlin

Police President, Dr Barbara Slowik and LKA Chief, Christian Steiof were also on site and experienced first-hand the successful virtual working of the European exchange.

The event was chaired by Kornelia Nehse of the Berlin Police and brought both worlds together excellently – whether in a question-and-answer session with the live audience, a discussion with speakers on site and with participants digitally connected.

Dr Meike Ramon, University of Fribourg, Prof. Dr Tim Landgraf, Free University of Berlin and Dr Grit Schüler, Berlin Police, discussed the challenges and limits of facial recognition. They also want closer cooperation. #policemeetsscience.

The second day was all about behavioural recognition: how do assassins behave in public spaces? Prof. Heubrock, head of legal psychology at the University of Bremen, vividly demonstrated behavioural characteristics of assassins in the phase preceding the offence. In addition, our colleague Nick Thatcher of the Metropolitan Police, presented his Servator project and our colleagues from the Zurich Cantonal Police presented a training programme for police officers on behavioural recognition.

Furthermore, it was possible to exchange information directly with European networks.

“My idea of a functioning network is a fast and uncomplicated exchange of knowledge based on mutual trust and pragmatism,” Stefan Majchrzak said in summing up.

Conclusion: SafeCi is setting precise impulses to improve the cooperation of science and the police in the future.

The hybrid format is ideally suited to increase outreach and to network better across borders.

Förderhinweis SafeCi