Background

In recent years, criminals and terrorists have increasingly exploited the open nature of easily accessible soft targets for malicious attacks to maximize casualties, chaos, and social impact. Terrorist attacks at shopping malls (Munich 2016), airports (Brussels 2016), transport systems (Madrid 2004, London 2005), squares and streets (Paris 2015, Berlin 2016, Nice 2016, Stockholm 2017), and sports events (Boston 2013) have highlighted the vulnerabilities of public venues and the challenges posed.

These attacks all have similar characteristics in that they are often coordinated and/or simultaneous, they follow deployment tactics, the people affected are not immediately aware and there is an overall lack of situational awareness.

Tackling soft target attacks requires the collaboration of all stakeholders to achieve real-time holistic situational awareness, predictive competencies and zero latency intervention. Across Europe, more and more public spaces are owned or operated by private companies, and the presence of private guards and security staff is common. LEAs and private security entities have complementary resources deployed for surveillance, management, and communication. Clearly, the protection of European citizens can benefit from the effective cooperation between both public authorities and private security practitioners, however, to achieve this, establishing improved operational collaboration among LEAs, private security personnel, and citizens has become essential.

Core Concepts

APPRAISE will develop and validate a state-of-the-art framework for soft target protection with a particular focus on active, audited, and well-defined information and intelligence exchange among private and public sector security practitioners to enable an effective collaboration, at the information and the operational levels.

APPRAISE will revolutionize the protection of soft targets by integrating the following:

  • A scalable, flexible, and efficient data intelligence platform for threat detection
  • Actionable threat intelligence to proactively detect vulnerabilities and analyse imminent and on-going crimes or terrorist attacks,
  • Soft target risk assessments based on both web content, social media analysis and on-site sensor data,
  • Instant situational awareness to plan and execute mitigation actions and,
  • Collaboration capabilities to collaboratively mitigate incidents from the earliest stage of their detection.

Approach

APPRAISE has a clear vision that will provide cross-discipline tools that will assist end users in all aspects of their security work.

APPRAISE will achieve a more effective and efficient proactive operational security of public spaces and soft targets in the Europe by:

  • Improving the current capabilities of public and private security practitioners to capitalize on big data information streams and
  • Establishing a successful collaboration framework to take advantage of their complementarity in resources.

Use Cases

A number of specific use cases for APPRAISE have been identified. Each use case  will consider highly diversified soft targets, in terms of;  accessibility, existing security measures, current infrastructure, people density, level of criticality, and their societal impact to evaluate and validate the solutions developed within the project.

Image of a bike
An outdoor sporting event
Image of a stadium
A mass gathering at a stadium
Image of a shopping centre
An indoor shopping centre
Image of a conference centre
An exhibition and conference centre