NOVI SAD, SERBIA: Since they were introduced, mobile phones saved many lives and properties in various crisis situations.
The possibility of accessing the police, hospitals or fire stations, from any place and at any time, increases the safety of people in different situations in which their life was in danger or when they needed to help someone else. This is the main reason to constantly innovate technology and to involve different experts in the creation of numerous programs and applications. The main goal is to develop technological tools that could be used by a wide range of users.
One of the existing projects that aims to develop such a tool is a multidisciplinary project oriented toward Community policing strategy and within which a new mobile application is being developed. The project, whose acronym is CITYCoP (Citizen Interaction Technologies Yield Community Policing), is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program. The project has started in 2015, and lasts three years. Among other things, this project analyses the implementation of the Community policing strategy in different EU countries and aims to identify the main reasons why this strategy is not being implemented in some countries even though it has been officially adopted.
“As a tool for implementing Community policing strategy within this project we are going to develop a mobile application and an online portal which could be deployed in every European city, while still retaining its “local flavor” and concern for cultural specificity and language differences”, says for “Dnevnik” Ivana Jakovljev who is a junior research on this project and a PhD student at the Department of Psychology, University of Novi Sad.
This mobile app will enable direct and two-way communication between citizens and the police, which is one of the basic postulates of the Community policing strategy. Aside from the fact that the app is going to enable citizens to contact the police to seek help or to inform them about different dangerous situations, it is also planned for the app to have a button for sending the information about current location, ability to send photos and to receive some kind of feedback from the police.
"These technological innovations will be in line with European legislation and will respect all data privacy regulations. Additionally, within the project, a training program for the app users will be developed both for the police and for the citizens. The Pilot CITYCoP app will be launched in four European cities: Lisbon, Florence, Dublin, and Bucharest” - explains Jakovljev.
According to her, besides creating an app and an online portal, the project also includes a multidisciplinary theoretical approach to Community policing, primarily from the point of cognitive science and sociology. The main goal in this segment of the project is to analyze different factors relevant for the implementation of the Community policing strategy (such as social, cultural, legal, and ethical) that affect the quality of interaction between the citizens and the police and the level of their mutual trust.
The team from the University of Novi Sad, coordinated by the Professor Sunčica Zdravković and our interlocutor, Ivana Jakovljev is involved in the analysis of factors that influence risk perception, fear of crime, trust in the police, citizen’s readiness to cooperate with the police and similar concepts that are relevant for the Community policing strategy. The Novi Sad team, consisting of psychologists and sociologists, is also involved in the analysis of the existing community policing apps in order to establish the advantages and disadvantages of technological solutions that already exist.
"It is very important that the scientists from Serbia were given the opportunity to participate in such a big and important project. I hope that participation in this project would not only result in elevated knowledge of investigated concepts but that Serbia will be one of the European countries implementing created technological solutions. I think that would be a significant contribution to the implementation of the Community Policing Strategy that was adopted in 2013 by the Government of the Republic of Serbia" says Ivana Jakovljev.
By Vladimir Crnjanski, originally published on dnevnik.rs.
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