Was 2023 a Good Year? See for Yourself – a Summary of PPHS’s Actions

Reflecting back, 2023 was a busy period, with many actions spanning multiple crime domains. New projects, partnerships, trainings and meetings only give a flavour of what was completed. Let’s dive into a summary of the past year and selected events!

Watch the video summary:

Visual Identification

Much of our work involves supporting external initiatives, but let’s first start with something internal. We introduced one of the most eye-catching changes for PPHS in the first months of 2023. We leaped forward into modernity with our rebranding, producing a new logo, refreshed designs for the website and visual materials. We’re happy with the progress and won’t stop there; we will be unveiling new changes in the year ahead to complement the foundations we’ve laid.

PPHS - rebranding

20 Projects

Research and innovation projects remain a vital pillar of our work, and we were delighted to add several more European and national projects to our growing list of initiatives, of which we are the coordinators of three, namely: INDEED, CYCLOPES and 2PS. A thorough list of active and completed projects be found here.

As we began several new ventures, we also parted company with some pivotal actions that have helped make PPHS the organisation it is today. In 2023, we finalised four projects. I-LEAD was a significant action to which we waved goodbye during a fantastic closing event in Athens, Greece. I-LEAD was an action devoted to creating and coordinating a network of law enforcement practitioners focused on innovative technologies and solutions for uniformed services. PPHS engaged in many tasks and was the main organiser of several Industry and Research Days, where we worked closely with many partners, including EUROPOL Innovation Lab and ENLETS. Read more here.

A strategic focus of PPHS is the prevention and mitigation of violent extremism and radicalisation, and several related projects concluded last year. The educational project “I UNDERSTAND=RESPECT” supported the prevention of radicalisation leading to discrimination and hate speech in the school environment. PARTICIPATION was a preventive initiative against extremism, radicalisation and polarisation that could lead to violence. The MIRAD project, which closed at the end of the year, offered, among other things, innovative training for European prison and probation services and non-governmental organisations. PPHS remains steadfast to supporting relevant actions and will continue efforts in this important space, and is eager to engage relevant organisations with similar values and commitments – if that includes yours, please reach out to cooperate.

As many as six new initiatives were launched in 2023. These are:

  • VR4REACT – Reducing Reactive Aggression Through Virtual Reality;
  • IN2PREV – Preventing Radicalisation While Supporting Successful Inclusion and Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe;
  • ARICA – Assessing Risk Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse;
  • CYRUS – A Personalised, Customised, Work-Based Training Framework for Enhanced Cybersecurity Skills Across Industrial Sectors;
  • SHIELD4CROWD – Heightening Innovation Procurements and Setting a Baseline for a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) to Increase Crowd Management Security in EU Public Spaces;
  • SAFE – Security Alliance for German-Polish Endeavours.

New Collaborations

Partnerships and collaborative actions underpin any successful security endeavour, and PPHS prioritises collaboration with like-minded organisations, and see it as imperative that we expand our cooperation with other national and European institutions involved in improving security in the EU. The past year was marked by the establishment of several important partnerships.

We joined the European Anti-Cybercrime Technology Development Association (EACTDA). This association develops technological solutions available for European law enforcement agencies without license costs and with access to the source code.

PPHS engaged in joint activities with the Polish Association for National Security (PTBN). Our cooperation includes: training, organisation of events and preparation of grant applications in the field of critical infrastructure and the fight against terrorism.

We have also established cooperation with the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution, and will be organising and implementing training, conferences, seminars, and other educational and dissemination activities, including the joint submission of applications for project funding in the internal security area.

Events

Organising events is a central activity of PPHS. Our gatherings cover small meetings for a few people, and scale to cover conferences for large groups of recipients. The associated tasks form part of our everyday duties in the funded projects. Here, however, we will focus only on events that we organised directly.

The CINTiA 2023 conference was the second edition of an event attracting practitioners, scientists and industry partners from the cybersecurity and data analysis fields. The latest gathering took place in September (19-21) in Krakow, Poland, and was organised in cooperation with the AGH University of Science and Technology and the CYCLOPES project. The success of last year’s event prompted a quick decision to continue with a new version, and we now invite you to CINTiA 2024– please ‘save the date’.

CINTIA 2023

Furthermore, the meeting entitled “Developing Competencies of Practitioners Working in the Field of Preventing Radicalisation” was organised by PPHS in cooperation with Collegium Civitas. It took place on November 17, 2023, in Warsaw, Poland, and gathered a group of people professionally dealing with or interested in this topic. There were several key highlights, which included a panel about disinformation leading to radicalisation, identifying training needs in the field of preventing radicalisation and a proper design of preventive initiatives and evidence-based evaluation.

Training

Of course, we cannot forget about our training activities. Last year, we conducted 32 training sessions, attended by as many as 6,841 participants! During this time, we also introduced one new training module: Radicalisation, Polarisation, Extremism – Contemporary Threats to Society. PPHS’s trainings run continually throughout the year. Therefore, we encourage you to check our calendar or contact the training department directly. If you have a specific training need and would like to discuss your needs with our experienced and passionate team, please reach out.

Communication

A recap of our activities would not be possible without providing at least the most basic information about our communication team’s efforts. The number of visual materials we have created, such as websites, social media channels, presentations, roll-ups, logos, banners, infographics, certificates, badges and many others, is so large that it would be impossible to count them all! Safe to say, we support many actions, and will continue to work creatively and collaboratively in the year ahead. If you need help with your services and actions, feel free to contact the team to discuss partnership opportunities.

Limiting ourselves to the content that distinguishes 2023 from the previous ones, let’s explore efforts focused on creating more engaging and educational articles that help develop the knowledge of our recipients. We published fifteen such materials, covering a wide range of topics including: counteracting child sexual abuse, the nature of radicalisation, hybrid threats, effective evaluation and reactive aggression.

Text materials complement our video production, the quality of which has also transformed over recent months. To support communication and dissemination actions, we published as many as 37 new videos, both on our YouTube channel and through projects’ channels.

Was 2023 a Good Year?

It depends on how you look at it. There were many new challenges that came to the surface in 2023 that were exploited by criminal groups, and often exacerbated by technology. Still, there are many resolute actions working to make a positive difference, and PPHS is proud of the small part it played.

Reviewing all work from a birds-eye view, it’s apparent how active we were. Still, there is much to be done, and our internal team and external experts are driven to deliver more positive influence. There are many ambitious plans in the making, and we wait in anticipation to for the results of our latest proposal bids.

We thank our community and followers for their support, and we urge you to stay with us in the coming months!

We strongly encourage those interested in our work to subscribe to the PPHS newsletter, which, every two months, we use to send updates with the most important events of the past weeks.

Lukasz Kielban

Senior Communication Specialist
Polish Platform for Homeland Security