Like many other sectors, law enforcement has benefited significantly from the influx of new technologies. However, one of the great challenges facing law-enforcement organisations is how best to assess, select then integrate new technologies into their activities.
The EU-funded l-LEAD project is focusing on enhancing the ability of operational law-enforcement groups, agencies and other practitioners to define their own needs regarding technological innovation.
The overarching goal is to establish a working and sustainable pan-European law-enforcement agency network, with the help of research and industrial partners as well as a broad range of interested stakeholders.
I-LEAD is strengthening the capacity of participants to monitor the security research and technology sectors, to ensure better needs matching and technology uptake by these agencies. Previously funded European research initiatives, which resulted in products of high-technological readiness, will be evaluated and assessed in terms of their immediate usefulness to law enforcement.
Where possible, direct uptake of research results will be facilitated and implemented within the ENLETS framework. ENLETS is the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services which brings together law-enforcement agencies to share best practices and stimulate technological research for law enforcement.
I-LEAD is also closely coordinating with the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) whose aim is to maintain the highest level of excellence in European forensic science.
The project team is identifying priorities for specific law-enforcement practitioner groups and establishing areas where standardisation could have a positive impact. The researchers will produce a set of concrete recommendations on how to improve procedures for requesting, evaluating and integrating new technologies.
Finally, I-LEAD is advising EU Member States, through existing procurement structures, on how the outcomes of the project could be used in the pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovative technologies.