24 Nov Interview with the Swedish Police Authority
The National Forensic Centre of the Swedish Police Authority are a partner in the NOTIONES project. What is your role within this network of police and intelligence agencies across Europe?
As a Law Enforcement Agency, our role is to contribute with end user perspectives, sharing challenges and experiences within the area of security intelligence. The NOTIONES project recognises the operational need for intelligence departments to examine and explore new and emerging technologies to develop capacity and capabilities. The mission of NOTIONES is to establish a Pan-European network of intelligence and security practitioners who can identify the challenges associated with contemporary intelligence processes and the role of technology in their operations. We are delighted to be a part of the project and are joined by 14 other Law Enforcement agencies across Europe including the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Police Judiciary of Portugal.
What activities of the NOTIONES project are you currently progressing?
The Swedish Police Authority are chairing one of the working groups designed to encourage interaction between practitioners and other stakeholders. Within the working groups we get the opportunity to discuss our needs, perspectives, and current technological products and solutions. This facilitates the identification of areas for improvement, obstacles, benefits, risks and constraints. We also strive to participate in every one of the NOTIONES workshops and conferences which offer opportunities for networking and exchange of knowledge and expertise.
How will the engagement of the Swedish Police Authority in the NOTIONES project support policing in Sweden?
It is always important for the Swedish Police Authority to stay updated on research and development within security and intelligence, and to uphold and expand our European network.
What are the benefits to the Swedish Police Authority of participating in European security research and innovation projects?
Through European security research and innovation project SPA have the opportunity to gain insight and establish valuable connections not just in policing but also across the academic research and private sector fields. Also, the NOTIONES projects allows SPA to contribute to enhance the capacity at a European level through expert knowledge exchange and policy work which is important for the collective safety and security of all EU member states.
Are you engaging in other European research and innovation projects?
Yes, SPA is involved in a number of research and innovation projects in different areas and is well connected, both nationally and internationally. SPA is actively participating in meetings, conferences, joint agency initiatives on a regular basis, providing opportunities to disseminate projects results and activities. We will be using this network to disseminate the findings and activities of the NOTIONES project.
How does the Swedish Police Authority assess which research and innovation projects to progress?
It is a joint assessment taking into account several aspects, including alignment with internal research plans and importantly, the availability and access of our own operational resources.
How did you become engaged in police research and innovation activity? And what experience do you bring to support the delivery of the NOTIONES project?
Research and innovation are an important part of our roles, and are also of personal interest as we seek to always develop and improve. We bring the end user perspective, expertise, experience, and operational needs to the NOTIONES project and other research and innovation activities we are engaged in.
What advice would you give to other law enforcement agencies seeking to engage in European security research and innovation? And what are the key lessons you have learned in delivering police research and innovation projects?
Being a partner in a European research and innovation project can boost the development within your organisation. If the project is in line with research planning and requirements of your police department it can give access to valuable and unique insights and networks throughout Europe. Also, it can present a real opportunity to positively contribute on a European scale to strengthen the capacity and capability of Law Enforcement Agencies.
There are different challenges that can arise from research and innovation projects. For instance, as a Law Enforcement Agency, we are often reluctant in revealing areas which require further development and improvement which criminal elements might take advantage of. This can make detailed practitioner user requirements difficult to collect but nevertheless, is an important part of understanding current competencies and identifying areas requiring development.
Another challenge that we have experienced in the NOTIONES project is to gather the right competence in working group discussions on LEA challenges so that confidential questions can be both raised and answered with confidence in a safe and secure research environment. And of course, while research and innovation activity is important, we have operational demands to meet which can pose difficulties for practitioners to participate.
Contact details and online links:
Ted Esplund, who is a super intendent at NOA (National operations department) works as head of operations at the intelligence unit. He is also leading intelligence operations on national level, against organized crime. In recent years his activities have a focus on operations with encrypted devices.
Åsa Granström, Project Manager at NFC (National Forensic Centre). She works as a project leader and with coordination of Research and Development at the National Forensic Centre. Ms Granström represents the Swedish Police Authority in several projects financed by the EU. She has a tec licentiate degree and about twenty years of experience in project management.
Swedish Police Authority Website: https://polisen.se/en
Staniforth A. (2023), PolicingInsight Webiste, Joining forces to share knowledge in the fight against international organised crime, https://policinginsight.com/feature/interview/joining-forces-to-share-knowledge-in-the-fight-against-international-organised-crime/, (Accessed on 22.11.2023)