2050 scenario: no deaths on US roads

The road to zeroTraffic accidents were, in 2015, the tenth cause of death in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. It is therefore a global problem that many countries are trying to respond to. In the USA, researchers from the Rand Corporation published a study that is set in 2050 and imagines what has been the first year without deaths on the road in this country.

The starting point is the current situation, when over 100 Americans die in their vehicle in traffic accidents every day. It is a problem that has a major effect on young people between the ages of 15 and 24, men and people who live in rural areas. Moreover, over the decades, there has been a continual drop in the number of deaths on the roads (the figure fell by 11,300 people between 1985 and 2011), in recent years a considerable rise has been detected: in 2016 5,000 more people died in traffic accidents than 2011.

The researchers imagined that they were living in 2050 and that it was the first year without a death on the road, thanks to four factors. The first was that almost all vehicles had some kind of atomisation or driving support mechanism. Secondly, that the roads were designed to reduce speed where safety is deficient. Thirdly, the improvement in emergency warning systems and care for those injured, which would reduce deaths in accidents. The last was that, as there were fewer accidents, US citizens would increasingly regard traffic accidents as unacceptable.

To get to this scenario, between 2018 and 2050 it would be necessary to implement measures focused on three areas.

  • Double the efforts and investment in programmes and policies that have been shown to be effective. These policies are seen within a wider concept, from changes in regulations to changes in infrastructures or improvements in highway education.
  • Speed up the most advanced technological changes. Support systems and driver assistance are more and more habitual with new vehicles and, gradually, the age of automatic driving is approaching. Agreements between car manufacturers and developers and suppliers of technology, as well as other actors, will be key in this area.
  • Prioritising safety. It is necessary for Americans to adopt a new culture of safety, based on awareness, education and constant enhancement, both in the individual and collective context. With this new safety system, all divers would be aware that any one of them at some time, indeed inevitably, might make a mistake and cause an accident. This premise would lead to an improvement in all areas of the road system (roads, vehicles, drivers, emergency services), so that when there is such a mistake, the consequences will not be fatal.


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How does police presence and action affect the French public’s perception of security?

A study carried out based on crime interviews Cadre de vie et sécurité, 2008-2017[1] has allowed for the assessment of police presence and action by over 160,000 interviewees over the age of 14, resident in France.

In general terms, the French population views police presence and action positively: 47% of those interviewed think that the police presence in their neighbourhood or municipality is sufficient and 48%, that police action against crime is effective enough. These perceptions continue to be very stable with the passing of time and improve as of 2015, possibly due to a better and more visible police presence, reinforced after the terrorist attacks. Despite this, 19% of these individuals considered the police presence to be insufficient and 27%, inexistent. With regard to socially disadvantaged areas, the percentage of those who consider police action not to be effective enough rises to 44%.

Apart from global percentages, aspects like the individual characteristics of the person interviewed and the place of residence have an impact on the assessment of the presence and effectiveness of police action.

Individual characteristics

In general, men and more elderly people view police presence and effectiveness positively.

  • 49% of the men interviewed think that police presence in the local environment is sufficient compared to 45% of women. 49% of men also consider police action effective, compared to 46% of women.
  • 52% of people over 66 believe that the police presence in their neighbourhood is sufficient and 50% believe that police action is effective enough.

Features of the place of residence

In general, the perception of the effectiveness of police action in the fight against crime is very positive in rural areas, but it gets worse in urban conurbations with over 100,000 inhabitants and in the metropolitan area of Paris. As shown in the graphic below.

Assessment of police action in the fight against crime in accordance with the territory


Source: Interviews CVS (2008-2017): INSEE-ONDRP-SSMSI; data treatment: ONDRP. The people interviewed are over 14 and live in France.

Although a casual connection has not been successfully established, there seems to be a link between the presence and effectiveness of police action in the municipality and the population. Inversely, the individuals who feel most insecure also tend to be more critical when assessing police practices.

Further information:

[1] The Cadre de vie et sécurité survey was conducted by Ministerial Statistics Service and Internal Security (SSMSI) from 2015, and the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) and the National Crime and Penal Response Observatory (ONDRP) from 2007.


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The world’s biggest cybercrime market is dismantled

Webstresser suspendedThe administrators of the DoS web site webstresser.org were arrested in April 2018 following the ‘Power Off’ operation, a complex operation led by The Dutch Police and The UK national crime agency, with the support of Europol a dozen police agencies from around the world. The administrators lived in the UK, Croatia, Canada and Serbia. More measures were taken against the main users of this market in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Croatia, the UK, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong; the illegal service was closed and infrastructures were closed down in the Netherlands, the US and Germany.

Webstresser.org was considered to the biggest market in the world for the hire of denial-of-service attacks (DoS), with over 136,000 registered users and four million attacks recorded in April 2018. Orchestrated attacks were directed against critical online services offered by bank, governmental institutions and police forces, and against victims of the gambling industry.

In a DoS attack activated by this service, the attacker has remote control of the connected devices to aim a large amount of transit at a website or an online platform. Whether this transit consumes the width of the band of the website, or if it weakens the server or consumes other essential resources, the final result of an unmitigated DoS attack is the same: the victim’s website is slowed down to such an extent the it cannot be used, depriving users of essential online services.

With webstresser.org, any registered user could pay a nominal fee via online payment systems to hire the use of this platform. The fees offered were so low ¾about 15 Euros per month¾ that they allowed individuals with little or no technical knowledge to launch paralysing DoS attacks.

International Police cooperation was fundamental in the success of this investigation, launched by the Dutch National Unit for Advanced Technological Crimes and the UK National Crime Agency, as administrators, users, critical infrastructure and victims were spread out all over the world.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Action Task Force (J-CAT) gave their support to the investigation from the start, facilitating the exchange of information between members. A centre of command and coordination were set up at the headquarters in The Hague, led by Europol.

DoS attacks are illegal. Many enthusiasts are involved in cybercriminal activities that may appear to be at a low level, without bearing in mind the consequences such crimes involve. Penalties can be severe: if you launch a DoS attack or offer, supply or obtain services to launch one, you can receive a prison sentence, a fine or both.

Individuals who exercise cybercrime often have a range of skills that can be positive skills related to codifying, gambling, computer programming, cybersecurity and other fields associated with ICT that are in great demand, and there are many careers and opportunities available to anyone interested in these areas.


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Jaume Bosch: The concept of “Police of Catalonia” is a reality, but an incomplete one

Jaume Bosch, coordinador de projectes transversals i d’impuls d’accions formatives de l’Institut de Seguretat Pública de Catalunya (ISPC)He is coordinator of transversal projects and promotion of training initiatives of the ISPC. He has a degree in Law awarded by the UB. A Master’s in “The city: policies, projection and management” awarded by the UB. He was an associate teacher in the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the UAB. He was the first general subdirector of Coordination of local police forces. He was a councillor, Vice-president of the Barcelona provincial council and member of the Parliament of Catalonia. Author of a range of publications; the latest, “From the statute to self-determination” (2013).

Is the concept of “Police of Catalonia” introduced by Law 4/2003 a desideratum rather than a reality?

Today the concept of “Police of Catalonia” is a reality, but an incomplete one. The idea of the Police of Catalonia being dependent on Catalan institutions, Generalitat and councils, or let’s say, the police force of the Generalitat-Mossos d’esquadra and local Police forces, came to life in the 1980s based on a model designed by Jaume Curbet. He expressed an unequivocal political wish as a fundamental building block for the country’s self-government. Some vital legal mechanisms were pushed forward to construct a system: the first law to coordinate local police forces ( in 84), later substituted by the 1991 law, the law to create the Catalan Police school ( in 85), years later the law was repealed by the Law of the Institute of Public Security of Catalonia in 2007, and the Law of the Police of the Generalitat-Mossos d’esquadra of 1994. And later, the Law of the System of Security of 2003. These laws are now overwhelmed by reality, and the policy of coordination of local police forces has not had, despite the wishes of successive leaders, the human and economic resources demanded by a project to create a policing system.

What changes need to be introduced in the Catalan policing system to respond appropriately to challenges to public security? Do you know of any initiatives that are being put into practice in other places that would be useful in our country? 

We need the so-many-times-announced Law of the Police System of Catalonia. It is true that within the current legal framework some of the initiatives that we need could be pushed forward, but it is no less true that three factors make this law indispensable: the passing of the 2006 Statute with new competences for the Generalitat in terms of security ( including the definition of the Mossos d’esquadra as an integral police force and the organisation of local police forces, and not only their mere coordination), at the end of 2008 with the territorial deployment of the Mossos to substitute the Guardia Civil and the National Police, and the appearance of new types of crime, including the new terrorist threat. The only law posterior to the Statute is that of the Institute of Public Security. A new legal text is necessary to improve on the laws of 91 and 94, and to update the statutory framework of the Mossos and local police forces, with a common part for the two forces and a specific amount for each force. Over recent years other communities have continued to advance and are now ahead of us: in the Basque Country , with unified recruitment of local police officers this term, or with new laws in Navarra (2015) ,although some of their articles may have been annulled by the constitutional court, in the community of Valencia (2017), Balearics (2017) and the Community of Madrid (2018). Unfortunately, we are no longer forerunners.

What must the responsibility of municipalities be in the maintenance of security?     

Municipalities have defined competences, as is the role of the mayors local security committees. Local security plans are a good tool. But it is necessary for the Generalitat to help municipalities, especially the medium-size and small ones. There are 214 local police forces. Today the constitutional framework does not allow for the fusion of Mossos and local police forces and I doubt that this is the solution. But it is vital that the 214 local police forces, maintaining their municipal dependence, act, more and more frequently, via mechanisms that unite, order and dignify their role.

Is the role of the Institute of Public Security of Catalonia well designed or is it necessary to make changes to improve the policing system? Is an organ rather than a “system” necessary?

The 2007 law is very advanced, the institute defines it as much more than a number of Schools, and it is adapted to the new Statute: it is a good instrument, that foresees , for example, that the Institute acts regarding the selection of local police officers, just as the communities I mentioned before are beginning to do, or that it intervenes in the context of private security. The fact is that the Centre is now affiliated to the Universitat de Barcelona and teaches a degree course in security, which has great importance. But the ISPC needs economic resources to maintain and upgrade installations and to push forward much more research; it should become a European point of reference in research and reflecting on some issues: I would dare to suggest police mediation or the fight against gender violence.  Besides, the new Law should create new organs to better integrate local police forces into the system: A negotiating table for work conditions at a national level, a centralised unit of internal affairs, a central unit for the purchasing of material… There are many proposals to build a real Catalonia Policing System. If only, when circumstances permit, we can begin to make up for the time lost, based on a constitutional and political consensus that must inspire public security policies.


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United Kingdom will give the police force more powers to address terrorism

In 2017, Great Britain suffered three terrorist attacks. In March, in London, there was the incident at Westminster Bridge and the Parliament; in June, the incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market, and in May, in Manchester, and the attack at the end of the concert given by the American singer Ariana Grande. These terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 35 people.

Obviously, these continued incidents have led to a debate in British society about the radicalisation process and measures to detect it. In this debate, the British government wants to change legislative framework in order to give greater powers to the intelligence services (MI5) and to the police in order to prevent further acts of terrorism.

MI5 informs that there are over 23,000 cases to monitor, but that only 3,000 are investigated. Furthermore, according to British government data, the terrorist threat has increased since 2011, when the anti-terrorism strategy was published.

The new government proposal, according to most of the British press, gives power to MI5 to be able to work and coordinate police work and the rest of the services involved, both locally and nationally. The objective is to be able to place those suspected of being radicalised under surveillance.

There is a wish to extend prison terms, as the British government had already announced, and intense monitoring is proposed even when the person has completed his/her sentence. There is also a call for teachers, doctors and other community leaders to inform of anyone they suspect of being radicalised.

The objective, according to the Home Secretary, is to leave no space for terrorism, impeding recruitment to keep families and the community safe.


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Updating international standards for the prevention of drug consumption

International Standards on Drug Use PreventionThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have just published a new volume to update international standards for the prevention of drug consumption published in 2013. It aims to incorporate the results of recent research on the issue and adapt it to the United Nations objectives in this field with a view to 2030 (more specifically, objective 3.5).

The objectives of these standards is, fundamentally, the primary prevention of drug consumption; meaning that it addresses the whole population and not only those who are at special risk or who are already consumers. However, the document starts by stressing the importance that research has given to fact that the first years of a person’s life are important as far as favouring or deterring the consumption of illegal drugs is concerned. Consequently, it dedicates special attention to the measures to be taken during childhood and adolescence.

The standards gather experiences (interventions, policies and strategies) that have been carried out and that have shown, with a somewhat empirical base, positive results. The measures are classified in accordance with age brackets (pregnancy and early childhood, childhood, early adolescence, adolescence, adolescent adult and adult). The experiences gathered are directed in a double way:

  • Enhance individual skills that facilitate people’s resistance to drug consumption. Information about the effects of the drugs, addressing psychological problems that could favour their control, parent-child relationships that could lead to a normal maturing process (experiences aimed at the training of parents have a noteworthy presence). The philosophy is to facilitate a balanced growth and promote a healthy lifestyle (for this reason, experiences are gathered that have promoted sports activities among the young).
  • Social factors, with a lot of emphasis on the school, university and work environment. The idea is that the context within which one relates with others and develops intellectually or socially is a determining factor in promoting or avoiding drug consumption.

Other experiences are also mentioned aimed at preventing or eradicating the consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and medical drugs used inappropriately, as this is considered to be a perfect context to encourage the use of other drugs.

Among the necessary prerequisites the document stresses to construct stable and solid systems of prevention are the need to involve a wide range of actors, an increase in research and follow up with scientific results.


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EJECT PROJECT: Crimes with firearms, an expulsion order in Jackson, Mississippi

In the US city of Jackson, Mississippi, with the application of the EJECT project, people who are detained for illegal possession of firearms or involved in some criminal activity with firearms will be ejected from the territory and will serve their sentence far away.

In December 2017 the Prosecutor of the South East District of Mississippi presented the “EJECT” project for the city of Jackson Mississippi. This project aims to combat violent crime in the city and contemplates, as a leading measure, the expulsion from the territory of people involved in firearm-related criminal activity.

People who are arrested for illegal possession of firearms or involved in some criminal activity using firearms will have no possibility of bail and will be ejected from the territory.

A dozen officers from federal and state agencies will help the Jackson Police Department with this project, in what is presented as a collaboration and cooperation project involving different levels of the US penal justice system.

Those responsible for the programme state that if you violate our law and terrorise our residents, you will be expelled from our community and you will serve your sentence far away from Jackson.

The programme has started to be met with scepticism on the part of residents, criminologists and political representatives of all tendencies. Even the mayor of Jackson highlights differences between municipal plans and this project.

Critics state that the basis of the Project is an attack on people under the guise of protecting them as it ignores constitutional rights, like the right to bail  or sending those accused away from Mississippi given the problems this causes their families..








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Elizabeth Johnston : « A long-term security policy is indispensable »

Elizabeth Johnston, Delegate-General of the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus)As Delegate-General of the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), Elizabeth Johnston is responsible for the strategy and development of Efus, in connection with the executive committee, as well as the general management of the organisation. She has also been delegate-general of the French forum for urban security since February 2016.

Furthermore, she is also member of the advisory council of the Global Parliament of Mayors and is a collaborator of the University of Liege (Belgium). Previously, and after having begun her career within a local community, Elizabeth Johnston was director of a programme for the Franco-American Foundation and was an expert in violence prevention in the World Bank. She was awarded a degree in Law by the University of Assas (France), in Political Science by the University of Yale (USA) as well a degree in Public Policy by the University of Marne-La-Vallée (France).

What do you consider to be the challenges to urban security in the decades to come? Tell us the four most important risks to urban security in the near future.

One of the main challenges in terms of security that all European cities have to address is the growing complexity and very fast evolution of the threats they are facing. Apart from the daily security problems that continue to be important, our cities administer the consequences of global phenomena that overwhelm them to a large extent: trafficking of people and goods, terrorist networks, cybercrime… These demand advanced technicality and a capacity for innovation and adaptation, which shake up usual administrative frameworks, impose new forms of collaboration and new ways of visualising security.

Another major challenge is the increase in social and economic inequalities: this generates a resentment that can escalate into violence and crime and cripple social cohesion, which is the only guarantee of durable security. These inequalities also contribute to the phenomenon of polarisation and make it even more difficult to create the common good reflected by security.

Linked to this phenomenon of polarisation like the common globalisation-related issues, cities must address a growing distrust on the part of the general public regarding public action. Building and nourishing a trusting rapport between public authorities and citizens is vital in order to establish a durable security policy, and it is for this reason cities must also innovate in terms of transparency, dialogue, and coproduction.

What role must the citizenship play in the field of urban security ? Is it the role of the recipient of the public security service?

As with any public policy, prevention measures and urban security must be defined in accordance with citizens’ needs. Every neighbourhood, every city is different only by fully involving residents will we be able to propose suitable responses. Residents must be involved in all stages of our policies: from their conception, their application and to their final evaluation. A major challenge these days is also to establish citizen participation based on principles of solidarity and representivity in order to bear keep society’s diversity in mind. Women, the elderly and also the young must no longer be simply the focus of security policies. They must become agents of prevention and play a full part in coproduction.

Is there still a role for the State in urban security or is it an issue that must be addressed by local communities and at an international level?

Territorial collectives have been shown to be indispensable actors for many years in order to act within the living environment, in everyday public security but they cannot act alone and must be backed up. Phenomena like violent extremism or organised crime have repercussions that go beyond regional and national borders. They are often very agile networks that often spread out across Europe and on an even more international scale. All levels of government must consult each other to adopt complementary responses.  In addition, these days national and European governance structures make territorial collectives even more dependant, both financially and in legislative terms, on other levels of government.

Who are the fundamental players in urban security ? Is there still a role for the police force and the judicial system?

The police, the judicial system, penitentiary institutions have an essential role in urban security. However, other actors like local institutions, civil society or even the private sector also play a key role, giving meaning to the concept of coproduction.

Police forces and judiciary institutions must adapt to their partnerships to push forward their doctrines of use and the training of their agents.


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Security Notes completes its second year

Notes de seguretat - 2 anys años years ansSecurity Notes was first published two years ago. It has been a particularly intense time seeking out new information within the sphere of security, whether these are trends, policies or news items that help to elicit an enriching debate.

If we look back, we were full of hope and enthusiasm when we began this project but we felt a little dubious about being able to offer two quality weekly posts. Two years later, our readers and subscribers are the ones who can tell us so, but the figures also speak for themselves. We have had over 50,000 visits to the blog during this period, from more than 50 countries. And all thanks to over 750 posts published in the four languages we offer them in, which have all led to a total of roughly 600 subscribers.

With these figures, we have felt your warmth all the way, and this has ultimately made us more determined to continue to offer useful and quality material.

As we did to celebrate the first anniversary of the blog, we will celebrate the second with a series of brief interviews with outstanding people in the field of security, which we will progressively insert along with the usual news items. The interviews do not follow any particular predetermined timeline, meaning that there will be no specific timing according to which interviews and news items appear, as it will be in accordance with the availability of particular people and relevant subjects, and we will be alternating each.

This first interview, which will come with the posts of next Monday 28th May, is with the Director of the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS), Elizabeth Johnston.

Needles to say, in the same way that the Editorial Board of Security Notes does not necessarily endorse the content of the reports echoed, the interviewees’ opinions only represent their point of view and neither that of the Editorial Board nor that of the Department of the Interior.  The Editorial Board is responsible for the selection of those interviewed (and for the content of the questions), but under no circumstances for the opinions expressed by them.

We hope that this new series of interviews generates your interest and that we can continue to enjoy your company and contributions

Editorial Board of Security Notes


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Crime increases in England and Wales?

According to the article published by The Police Foundation, important changes have taken place in data recorded by the police forces of England and Wales and provided by the National Criminal Data System, along with an added difficulty when such data is compared with those pertaining to the Crime Survey.

In April 2002 new criteria were defined in order to gather data on behalf of police officers at the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS), which aimed to promote an accurate collecting of police records in England and Wales and which has now led to an increase in crime data in this territory.

In the United Kingdom, specifically in the territory where the British Home has competence (Home Office), England and Wales, the Crime Survey is carried out (CSEW), which, along with data pertaining to police records, are the main instruments used to analyse crime.

Comparing the data from the two systems of analysis has so far been one of the main studies and sources of analysis of crime. In spite of this, the viability of comparing police records and crime surveys is now being questioned.

According to the opinion of several analysts, police records provide data about the population as a whole and, on the other hand, the survey gives data about the population from the age of 16, as a specific study is done for the population including those aged between 10 and 15. This group seems to be relevant for police records.

Police records calculates whatever is known with the development of police activity. On the other hand, the survey provides data about the population as a whole but does not extend to business or people who do not live at home, such as university students, members of the armed forces or people who reside in caravans. This all leads to differing trends where the survey and police records are concerned.

The number of incidents, represented by ratios, are historically higher in the Survey than in police records, with the non-reporting of some incidents being offered as an explanation for this. However, police-recorded incidents have now been increasing to the extent that, in 2013-2014, there are 12 incidents in police records for every 10 provided by the Crime Survey.

One explanation could be that some types of crime have been under-represented in police records for years. For example, crimes against people have increased significantly over recent years.

The second is that most crimes are on the increase according to police records, which causes these changes in records, an impact felt throughout the territory.

The third factor is that studying violence continues to be particularly difficult because of the credibility of police data and the Crime Survey, particularly when we want to make comparisons.

This situation is not due to the fact that one system is better than the other when knowing the crimes that have taken place in England and Wales, as the types of crime in the Crime Survey and Police records are not completely comparable. It seems that the Survey is not affected by changes in records and, for the moment, has been more consistent when visualising trends.


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