We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

PSNI and Garda join forces for AI surveillance project

Both forces policing Ireland have teamed up to help develop a sophisticated phone surveillance system.

Ireland’s justice minister has confirmed formally that the Garda is working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland as members of a policing and tech hub called ROXANNE to develop a multi-media speech surveillance system.

The project will enable the forces to track people involved in terrorism and organised crime across phone, text and video by using AI.

Irish justice minister, Helen McEntee said: "The project is a collaboration between law enforcement, industry and academia to develop new tools to support investigations.

"I understand the project is funded through the EU's Horizon 2020 initiative and is made up of 24 members from the private and public sectors."

It is one of the most sophisticated non-military projects ever undertaken in Europe, led by the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland. Other partners are from Israel and Italy involved in countering sophisticated crime networks.

It aims to identify people by age, gender and speech patterns.

The project, which has been running since 2019 outlined its objectives: “The ROXANNE project has a principal objective to enhance the LEAs’ efforts to discover criminal networks and identify their members. It has capitalised on certain aspects of AI technologies.

"Speech and language technologies (SLTs), visual analysis (VA) and network analysis (NA) will become the basis of ROXANNE platform, which will enhance criminal network analysis capabilities by providing a framework for extracting evidence and actionable intelligence."

An early part of the project has involved targeting Mafia suspects in Italy.

An early statement by a researcher said: “[It] will include link prediction algorithms to enhance criminal network analysis by law enforcement agencies. A recently published study has explored the robustness of different link prediction strategies across different types of network data.”

The need for cross-border surveillance technology has become very clear in the last 12 months following the discovery of an encrypted mobile phone service used by international crime gangs and the case of the Vietnamese victims of people smuggling discovered dead in Essex.

PSNI had already hinted in a policy review last year that it was focusing on IT to tackle serious crime: "We will transform the delivery of policing services through new, innovative digital capabilities."

The Garda responded to media interest with a brief statement: “(We are) responding to evolving threats, increasing our capabilities and knowledge, and working with partner agencies and police services to ensure organised crime does not impact on our society," a spokesperson said.

"In order to do this it is important (we) partake in EU projects that strengthen and enhance the capabilities and capacity of Ireland's national police and security service to combat international and transnational serious and organised crime, in addition to combating threats against the security of the state.”

Leave a Comment
In Other News
Garda marks centenary with new look 'modern' uniforms
NI ministers urged to face up to responsibilities by police leaders
PSNI officers trained ready for COVID-19 ambulance duty
PSNI chief apologises for BLM march response
PSNI to roll-out spit guards to all frontline officers
NI paramilitary threat remains strong, commissioners warn
Garda opens chance for more PSNI to join management team
More News