Violent behavior at football matches has garnered international media attention for decades even though the vast majority of matches pass without any significant violent incidents. Despite the widespread attention toward harmful behaviors, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of current practices targeting negative fan behavior.
Attacks using vehicles like the one in Toronto this week are difficult to defend against, but that doesn't mean that law enforcement and local security forces can't make progress. There are four crucial elements to consider when thinking about mitigating the effects of ramming attacks.
Ambulance data is a new form of intelligence which may have value for violence prevention or reduction activities. Police forces can use this data to help identify violent crime that goes unreported to police, and aid problem-solving activities to reduce and prevent violence.
Terrorist groups that track developments in technology could be considering using self-driving cars in place of suicide bombers or for ramming attacks. But autonomous vehicle capabilities offer a range of potential benefits to law enforcement and security operations, too.
Police forces in England and Wales may not be aware of a large proportion of violent incidents taking place in their areas. Ambulance data could contribute to a more complete picture of violent crime and help police target resources more effectively.
Given the persistent risk of terrorist attacks, it is critical to learn from past incidents to prepare for future ones. Medical and nonmedical first responders need more training in basic lifesaving skills. Open communication lines such as a dedicated radio frequency could help responders better coordinate. Disaster drills are also essential.
The U.S. government must choose where to apply limited resources to defend soft targets. But it could expand its information-sharing efforts with other governments and local law enforcement. Broad intelligence sharing and more training could help identify potential attackers before they can execute their plans.
Research on body cameras has shown mixed results. Complaints against police officers dropped when cameras were used, but rates of assault against them during arrests were higher. How much discretion the officers used in turning cameras on and off was also a factor.
Electronically stored information from smart appliances, fitness trackers, and other devices is making its way into the U.S. court system. Judges and lawyers need to better understand this evidence so they can challenge it or rule on its admissibility in court.
Building the morale of the Department of Homeland Security workforce should be a priority of the incoming leadership team. Strong communication with career employees, team building, and demonstrating respect for work that has already been done is needed.
The new administration has options to deal with the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. It could maintain the status quo, make improvements to speed the trials, close the facility and relocate the remaining inmates, or accept new detainees.
The UK's Home Office commissioned the development of a new training package and standard of practice for the use of stop and search. As the program is rolled out nationally, officers need to receive consistent and persuasive messages about the purpose and goals of the training.
Billions of dollars are spent worldwide on the rollout of police body cameras. There is an urgent need to understand whether the cameras help police and the public, and under what conditions they work best.
The Chicago Police Department's predictive policing program didn't work. To achieve even a 5 percent drop in the city's homicide rate, enormous leaps in both prediction and intervention effectiveness are necessary.