RESEARCH PROJECT (english)

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The Study Center, since 1999 has several research projects in different areas of Criminology, Security, Intelligence and Forensic Sciences. The research projects developed by the Study Center are always application-oriented and therefore aimed to support the specialized professional activities in the three key sectors (Investigation, Intelligence and Security) and sustain in parallel high-level training programs. The research developed by multidisciplinary teams in collaboration with institutions and companies in the sector have Currently the following projects  enabled:

STREET CRIME and URBAN SECURITY: The project M.A.U.S., which stands for Multilevel Analysis for Urban Security, started in 2005, is a search application “homeland Security” aiming to realize, as a first step, a database relating to a specific area of the city (or an entire Small Town) containing public and private targets at risk of crime. Each target is assigned a risk coefficient (varies according to  time, day of week and time of year) according to standardized assessment criteria. The database also provides data to an artificial intelligence algorithm that processes the information and produces predictive answers where criminal events may occur. The study provides important information for installers of video surveillance systems and to the police for control of the territory. Researchers of the Study Center detect targets at risk from internet and through site inspection of the territory which is being analyzed. The research is complemented by the administration of a special questionnaire (F.C.Q.) to random samples of the population which measures the perception of risk and crime victimization.

URBAN SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES: Research, developed in collaboration with an important Italian company in the sector, is aimed at the study of active and passive safety technologies available for homes, businesses and companies. The study provides a verification of alarm systems, video surveillance and intrusion protection currently available on the market and through simulations of projects and practical experiments an evaluation of their effectiveness and the possibility of integration between them.

CORPORATE INTELLIGENCE: Application study, started in 1995, is testing an integrated approach where a single group of researchers (coordinated) analyze all critical areas of an organization, with special attention to the human factor and the attempts of “social engineering”.The objective of the research (based primarily on case studies and questionnaires to employees of companies about risk perception) is the development of an integrated vulnerability assessment which can evaluate simultaneously  the risk of electronic, physical and computer intrusion that come from outside the organization from external hostile parties and the elements of risk of inside attacks “insiders” by unloyal employees and consultants. The project is conducted in collaboration with Italian companies in the sector including the Group Digitalengineering.

DRONES for investigation, INTELLIGENCE and industrial SAFETY: Research started in 2012 in collaboration with the European Drone Pilots Association and aims to outline the areas of greatest usefulness of drones (aircraft and ground-based) in the prevention and repression of crime, security and intelligence. The goal is to define Mission profiles that are compatible with the needs of staff and to assess the technological structures of the aircraft and decide which is more suited to an  individual type of Mission (tactical support, intelligence and search).The research is done through overflight experiments  (at different altitudes) of simulated crime scenes and industrial structures. One aspect of the project is aimed at assessing the possibility of using a low-flying drone to search for trace evidence at an outside crime scene. Evidence research refers to the ability to locate traces on the ground by reducing the risk of tampering with the evidence by operators doing the inspection. Specific CIS aircraft are designed and tested and then their operating  procedures are studied in an operational theatre.

INTEGRATED SYSTEM for the DETECTION of LIES: the study began in 1999 and is aimed at the development of an integrated system for the detection of lies during investigation and  business talks. Specific technologies are used and tested (polygraph, vsa, thermal data logger etc.) together with methods of observation and behavior analysis. In the system used by the study various forms of potentially misleading communications are considered   (verbal/non-verbal and body language). An aspect of the project is directed towards the detection of lies in the victims of crime (intimidated or reticent). One of the research methodologies used is audio-video communication which mean is capturing on video subjects who alternately narrate episodes they actually lived and episodes that were created by their imagination. This material is then subjected to comparative analysis.

TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE: Research (for police operators) began in 2007 and is aimed at developing  integrated miniature technologies for visual  and audio control and for capturing images and sound during intelligence operations. The study also foresees the control of an operational area and innovation in intervention procedures for the O.C.P activities. The study plan includes experiments in urban, rural  and desert areas. The experiments take place in Italy and in some of the foreign offices of the Study Center. The research project, developed in collaboration with an important Italian company, Tecnospy, aims to experiment with miniaturized investigative technologies in several simulated investigative scenarios. The objective of the study is to verify on the field the effectiveness of the systems and the identification of the ideal points of concealment of audio and visual recording instruments (on the body of the motor vehicle and the environment).

NEURAL NETWORK FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL CRIMINAL PROFILING: research which started in 2003 (and was first published in 2004), aims at the realization of decisional support for criminal investigation. The NNPCP system (Neural Network for Psychological Criminal Profiling) is a low-cost tool centered on a neural network applied to the analysis of criminal behavior that artificially reproduces the dynamics of thought of a criminal mastermind. The system can also be applied  in other forms of crime not related to psychological disorders as in the case of computer crime, fraud, robberies, kidnappings, etc.). The investigation takes place through the acquisition of data from files relating to resolved murder cases that occurred from 1980 to the present day in Italy and other countries.

COMBAT PSYCHOLOGY 1: The study began in 2007 and is centered on the psychological aspects of professional activity within the armed forces and police. These are researched and analyzed, through questionnaires and targeted interviews, situations of dysfunctional reactions to stressful situations and situations of psychological distress. They also sought out any perceptual alterations as a result of the subject being exposed to sources of acute stress. The final objective of the research is to identify clinical and psychosocial intervention instruments suitable for this specific professional sector.

COMBAT PSYCHOLOGY 2: The study, conducted in collaboration with companies that prepare young people to support the physical, cultural and psycho-attitudinal selections, aims to investigate the motivational and personality characteristics  of people  aspiring to get into law enforcement and into the armed forces. The research uses a special questionnaire that is administered currently at professional training courses in different Italian cities organized by the Italian company, Serem specialized in training and competition training that kindly provides  the opportunity to get in touch with their students.

S.W.A.T COMBAT PSYCHOLOGY:  In the research project, which began in 2014, selection and training techniques are studied for highly technical security professionals. Controlled experiments are carried out through stress inoculation to test reactions and design innovative training systems. The research uses a special circuit that simulates a scenario of urban combat and a special helmet designed by the technicians of the research center that provides sensory stimulation (acoustic, light and smell) during the experiments. The objective of the study aims at the realization of a remote monitoring system of vital parameters of operators during the tactical phase using a special vest equipped with sensors.

CYBERCRIME: The study, which started in 1999, analyses the main risks for users of digital technologies and the web, with particular attention to minors. They administer questionnaires on the perception of risk and carefully analyze for new emerging criminal techniques. .One aspect of the project is dedicated to social networks and the risks involved in their use by administering questionnaires to youth and educators and through the observation of profiles of young people in the major social networks.

STALKING:  The research began in 2001 and uses targeted questionnaires distributed to samples of the population. The research also uses the reports of consulting activities and legal advice that the study center offers free of charge for many years to the victims of this kind of psychological crime. The project considers and analyses forms of stalking towards the professions that help former patients and ex-customers with a specific field of study.

SECTS, MAGICIANS AND HEALERS: The research which began in 2003 is conducted by a specialized multidisciplinary team and uses targeted questionnaires distributed to samples of the population. The research also uses the reports of consulting activities and legal advice that the study center offers free of charge for many years to the families of the victims and has thus acquired considerable experience in the field. Researchers also participate sometimes “undercover” in proselytising meetings organized by psycho-cults to analyze their communication techniques and recruitment strategies.

ISLAMIC TERRORISM: With the emergence of the phenomenon “ISIS” the Study Center has urged its Associates to develop studies and analyses in the field of prevention strategies in this area. The first  studies started at the beginning of 2014 and more recently, after the attack at the museum in Tunisia, they also have focused on the risks to European citizens travelling in areas at risk. With the results of the ongoing annual research (SATN) the staff at the study center can provide to companies engaged in tourism and shipping, that operate in hazardous places, interesting information to implement appropriate prevention strategies. One aim of the study already partially published, began in 2015 and focuses on the fascination experienced by young Westerners towards the ISIS phenomenon. A specific questionnaire is used and was given to non-Muslim men and women, recruitment techniques carried out by the Islamic state through the internet are then carefully monitored. The instrument was provided in 2016 to the Canadian police for use in that country.

MISSING PERSON: The study began in 2010 and is aimed to implement the guidelines and a risk-assessment for the acquisition of information in the case of missing persons. The study uses advanced psychology tools applied in order to create a profile of the missing person and to evaluate the reliability of reporting by family members. The research is mainly based on case studies and semi-structured interviews administered to relatives of missing persons.

CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: Research, through experimentation in the field, began in 2001 and aims to build professional guidelines for a professional intervention at the crime scene and at the same time to evaluate  the effectiveness of the equipment used for evidence searching currently available on the international scene. They are acquired by the Study Center (also on the foreign market) new instruments available, that are then tested in real and simulated scenarios.

COLD CASE INVESTIGATION: Research, started in 2002, is carried out  through the study of real unsolved cases that are entrusted for an assessment to the multidisciplinary Equipe of our Study Center by Magistrates and Lawyers. The study is aimed at the development of more effective investigative techniques and the production of guidelines of approach to be spread among forensic professionals.

INTERVIEW/INTERROGATION PORTABLE ROOM: The research is aimed at the design and experimental use of a special carrying case that contains a series of integrated technologies for the complete recording (audio and video) of an interview. The system also allows the transfer of images and sound to an external location outside the interrogation room. The system, developed in collaboration with the Italian company, Technosecurity, includes a briefcase containing a complete system for video recording and surveillance (with self-sufficient energy)that is used to set up a room that is not equipped with a one-way mirror.