UK police miss deadline to meet fingerprint standards

Only 3 of the UK’s 43 police forces met a November deadline to meet “international standards for analysing prints found at crime scenes” as reported here, despite having 3 years to upgrade their processes. The situation reflects a wider mandate for increased scientific rigor across all branches of forensic science. In regard to fingerprints, forces that did not meet the standard “will have to declare this in court, prompting concerns that cases could collapse as a result of unreliable evidence.”

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Violence reduction in Ecuador & Colombia

This article focuses on Ecuador and the city of Cali, Colombia, two success stories for violence reduction in Latin America. Ecuador has dropped its homicide rate from 18 per 100,000 to 6 since 2010, second best in the region, with major investments in police salaries, training, technology, and anti-corruption measures. Cali has taken an epidemiological approach to its violence since the 1990s, focusing both policing and social programs on the most problematic neighborhoods and networks of offenders.

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Authentic inclusion

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police sponsors an annual Global Studies course for selected mid-career staff. The 2018 cohort was assigned the topic “Equity, Inclusion and Fundamental Respect in the Diverse Policing Organization.” Class members discuss their initial trepidation and what they learned from tough conversations among themselves, in their home agencies, and from visits with police in 17 other countries in this article and this report. They concluded that diversity is largely a reality in Canadian policing but authentic inclusion is much more challenging and difficult to achieve.

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Shifting face of international terrorism

Counter-terrorism efforts directed mainly at ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Middle East will need to shift attention to Russian-speaking individuals and networks in the coming years, according to this article. Terror groups that previously resisted oppressive governments in their own countries are now focused on perceived international enemies. Attacks in Turkey, Sweden, and the U.S. over the past several years were committed by Uzbeks, and fighters from several former Soviet countries who joined ISIS in Syria have since slipped back into Europe and Central Asia.

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Year in review

Pleased to report that, during 2018, this blog had 6,798 views by 4,759 visitors from 51 countries, led by the US, Hong Kong, UK, and Canada. Views and visitors were more than double the previous year. The posts most often viewed during 2018 were “Community policing in France,” “Ranking world police,” and “Fear of crime in Central America.”

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Policing the high seas

EU and partner efforts have been successful in reducing piracy over the last 10 years off the Horn of Africa, as reported here. The same naval operations have also encountered human trafficking and have targeted commercial fishing violations, noting that “Illegal exploitation of the fisheries grounds deprives countries in the region of revenue from licences and undermines the very livelihood of the local fishing communities.” This EU mission is now seeking more permanent status and authorization to share intelligence with Europol and Interpol.

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Canadian police research

This blog post from the director of CAN-SEBP (Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing) provides a useful accounting of published research on Canadian policing over the last 12 years and laments the paucity of government funding aimed at finding ways to improve police efficiency and effectiveness. Her conclusion is that “we produce very little high quality, homegrown research and many of the important topics facing police lack anything remotely approaching a Canadian evidence base.”

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