Predicting terrorism

This blog post by terrorism expert Brian Jenkins discusses the difficult challenge of predicting attacks. He notes that, outside of conflict zones, terror incidents remain infrequent — in 2015, “74 percent of all fatalities occurred in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan.” The post-9/11 prediction was that chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks would follow, but homemade bombs and automatic weapons are still most common — “Terrorism appears to have escalated horizontally rather than vertically. Instead of weapons of mass destruction, there has been a proliferation of low-level attacks.”

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Interpreters needed

This blog post from the UK expresses the skepticism of front-line officers regarding evidence-based policing and the current push to infuse a stronger academic orientation in police development and promotion schemes. Attending a conference, the constable notes “On more than one occasion, the other delegates I sat with – all serving officers – turned to look at one another with one of two expressions … bewilderment [or] incredulity.”

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Doing it all in Canada

On this 54-minute CBC radio segment three experts discuss how terrorism, cyber crime, and other modern pressures are affecting policing in Canada and around the world. Panelists include a former RCMP assistant commissioner and a Toronto police inspector.

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Cops in schools debated in Toronto

This article reports a raucous Toronto Police Board meeting during which advocates and community members split over the impact of police assigned to high schools. Many of the 74 speakers praised the performance of the officers but others claimed that schools selected to have armed police on campus feel stigmatized and profiled.

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Education & training proposals in India

This brief article identifies proposals being considered in India to raise education and training requirements for senior police positions, officer-level entry schemes, and constables. The current national government has expressed the intention to emphasize performance over seniority when making assignments and promotions.

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EU oversight of Europol

The European Union recently created a Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) to provide more systematic legislative oversight of Europol. This policy paper describes the new arrangement and makes recommendations to help the scrutiny group work efficiently within the complicated EU governance structure.

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Kenya revises counter-terror strategy

This article describes counter-terror enhancements implemented in Kenya since the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, including better information sharing between police and intelligence services, more community engagement, and closer attention to border control and terror financing. The number of attacks and fatalities has significantly decreased in spite of the country’s proximity to violent unrest in Somalia.

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