Co-funded by the European Union

A new approach to prevent and fight organised crime and terrorism

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On the 17th and 18th of June, the results of the European research project PROTON will be presented in Palermo

From the 17th to the 18th of June 2019, the city of Palermo will host the presentation of the analysis models and related software platform developed by the European Horizon 2020 project PROTON to fight organised crime and terrorist networks. The results, based on an innovative combination of social and computer sciences, will allow policy makers and law-enforcement agencies to test the effectiveness of prevention and control policies geared towards reducing the risk of recruitment to criminal and terrorist organisations, hence limiting their growth.

The event is organised by the Municipality of Palermo, member of the PROTON consortium, and will take place in the local Gallery of Modern Art. The presentation will be opened by the keynote speeches of the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, Professor Ernesto Savona, PROTON project coordinator and director of Transcrime, the joint research center on transnational crime of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano, and Professor Mario Lavezzi of the University of Palermo, also partner of PROTON.

Launched in October 2016, the three years long project PROTON is led by an international consortium of 21 organisations from 10 European countries and Israel, Switzerland and the United States, and it is coordinated by the Transcrime Research Center in Milan.

The main innovation of PROTON is its new approach to fighting organised crime and terrorist networks. The project is based on ABM (agent-based model) simulations, which are computer simulations of the actions and interactions of individuals or groups of individuals and aimed at assessing their impact on a given system. ABM are becoming increasingly popular in the study of criminal behaviours. In particular, ABM enable the simulation of the impact of security policies before their adoption in society. The main objective of the model is to study the recruitment to organised crime in order to improve knowledge on how to reduce and fight the involvement of individuals, especially youngsters, in criminal organisations.

ABM have also been used to analyse the impact of social and psychological aspects on the behaviour of individuals and leading to radicalisation and recruitment to a terrorist network.


Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash
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