The fight against organised crime remains an important and challenging task for law enforcement agencies. Criminologists and computer scientists can work together successfully in this field. One example is the K5 team of the Ulm Criminal Investigation Department, which analyses large amounts of data for investigations and forensic purposes in their daily work.
The L3S is involved in the EU research project ROXANNE, which is concerned with network, text and audio analysis to fight against organised crime effectively. At a symposium, ROXANNE scientists and members of the K5 police team noted that the challenges faced by K5 are the research questions of ROXANNE, namely how to reduce the workload through intelligent, technology-based data analysis. In August 2020, ROXANNE scientists, including Dr. Sergej Zerr and Eric Hoang from L3S, met with members of the K5 team in Ulm to exchange experiences and ideas. They discussed state-of-the-art data analysis methods and tools used in criminology and research opportunities of interest to both ROXANNE and K5. The police officers presented their organisational structure and processes for solving criminal cases. The ROXANNE scientists gave the main objectives of the project and addressed some issues that the police could solve better with newer approaches.
The main challenges facing the K5 team include the manual workload, the filtering out of relevant sources of information in a case handling process, and the 80 percent time required for data cleansing and normalisation. Also: the lack of software solutions for specific tasks, such as the analysis of geodata.
The meeting with the Ulm police authority led to a concrete plan for further cooperation, which will not be limited to exchanging ideas and experiences. After formal approval, it could also include evaluating the algorithms developed in ROXANNE based on real data collected by K5.