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Shaping the Next Generation of Security Solutions – The Impact of APPRAISE

The APPRAISE project, a pioneering initiative to improve the cooperation between public and private security operators, has recently concluded. Now is the opportune moment to reflect on the significant results of the initiative and PPHS’s contributions.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the European Union has shown that it understands the importance of developing cutting-edge solutions for public and private security operators. Funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, APPRAISE aimed to revolutionise how AI security systems are developed, ensuring they are innovative but also trustworthy, ethical, and aligned with human values.

From the beginning, APPRAISE committed to advancing technologies that prioritise the safety and rights of individuals. The project’s consortium, consisting of leading research institutions, technology companies, regulatory bodies and end-users from across Europe, collaborated to set new standards for security that can be adopted globally.

This short article delves into the achievements of the APPRAISE project. It explores how APPRAISE is making a meaningful difference in the development of new technologies, ensuring they serve humanity’s best interests. It also focuses on the Polish Platform for Homeland Security’s (PPHS) contribution to the initiative as a project partner.

APPRAISE Achievements

The APPRAISE project developed more than 35 tools! We are not able to describe all of them here, but let’s focus on a couple of them.

One of the many significant strides forward in improving public safety made by APPRAISE was the development of advanced tools for web analysis. The initiative developed deep-learning modules for text classification, which can help detect suspicious behaviour in social network publications. For example, it automatically identifies hate speech in social media posts. Natural language processing (NLP) modules within the APPRAISE project can process thousands of social media posts per second, facilitating threat detection, thanks to a large language model (LLM), which gives good performance and speed. 

Another crucial result of APPRAISE is the platform, which presents the data from different sources in a single space. This includes: analytics tools of video streams from CCTV cameras and drones or sound detection systems. The platform gives a full operational picture to both the private and public security institutions and enables sharing of information between different parties.

Creating a crowdsensing app was another important development. This smartphone application facilitates communication between users (e.g. event participants) and security agents. Through this app, people can send alerts about potential threats taking place in a location, directly to operators, thus making the public key players in controlling security.

It is important to stress that end-users were a fundamental part of the initiative. They had an opportunity to test the new technologies developed in the project and train on a virtual shooting range. Improving the cooperation between public and private security operators in protecting public spaces in the event of attacks is extremely important and APPRAISE did its best to facilitate the exchange of ideas, best practices and solutions.

⇒ More about the APPRAISE tools can be found on the project’s website.

If you would like to learn more about new technologies and their influence on public safety, check out the interview with Jaroslaw Przyjemczak, PhD in social science in the field of security and former deputy commander of the Autonomous Counter-Terrorist Sub-Division of the Police in Gdańsk:

New Technologies vs. Security of Public Spaces

As technological improvements come at break neck speed, it is difficult to judge whether modern technologies help protect our security or pose more of a threat. To explore this question in more detail, we engaged a domain expert for their perspective. Jarosław Przyjemczak, has a PhD in social science in the field of security and is former deputy commander of the Autonomous Counter-Terrorist Sub-Division of the Police in Gdańsk, and is well placed to help us understand this matter.

Read the article »

PPHS’s Contribution

The Polish Platform played a pivotal role in the diverse array of tasks within this project. We led the planning and implementation of Pilot 4 in Gdańsk, which concentrated on simulating a cold weapon attack scenario. The pilot script was precisely crafted, incorporating established practices and leveraging the innovative technologies developed throughout the project. The core objective in designing the scenario was to ensure it was strategically aligned to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of the selected tools under test conditions.

The pilot took place on 18-21 September 2023 during the TRAKO fair and was directed by PPHS and organised in collaboration with the enormous help of the Gdańsk Regional Police Headquarters and the Gdańsk International Fair. To summarise the event, we also prepared a video explaining the details and showing the multiple stages of the scenario. You can watch it below:

Moreover, PPHS, together with the Polish end-users, took part in defining the needs and requirements for the technologies being developed within APPRAISE. This process was not only vital for tailoring the project’s outputs, but also for enhancing user acceptance and integration of the technology into existing security frameworks.

The Final Conference

The final conference of the APPRAISE project was hosted by the Academy of Police Sciences and Internal Security (Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna – ISCPSI) in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a two-day event dedicated to summarising the initiative’s findings and outcomes. The first day of the conference was focused on presenting the project results during the Technology Fair. Organisers used this opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from the pilots and the ways the APPRAISE system helped improve the security at the pilot sites.

The second day concentrated on the future of the protection of public spaces. Projects which resulted in successful synergies between organisations, countries and sectors to enhance the cyber and physical resilience of public spaces against terrorist threats were presented and analysed. In addition, discussions were conducted on how training improves the protection of public spaces were.

 

The APPRAISE project closes here, but we strongly believe that it sets extremely significant foundations for future initiatives in the public security domain, as well as for innovative tools for threat analysis. Nevertheless, PPHS continues to participate in complementary projects that both enhance security organisations’ capabilities and use cutting-edge technologies for society protection.

If you are interested in cooperation, please contact us!

Lukas Kielban

Senior Communication Specialist

NINA CZYZEWSKA

Junior Project Manager