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Online preview of the Research Bulletin articles
15 December 2020

Articles of our upcoming European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin are now available online so that you can stay up to date with the latest European law enforcement research!

The following articles are now published in the online preview:

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on societies across the world. While much of the focus has been on the impact on health and financial wellbeing, crime patterns have also been affected. Correspondingly, police systems, policing, and the legal system within which the police operate, have also changed, less because of the changing crime pattern and more as the police have been empowered with policing health. This exploratory discussion looks at how crime and policing have been affected by the pandemic and speculates about the long-term impact when societies return to a new normal.

The Mass Media in Cyprus announced that, according to the Eurostat (2019) “Police, Court and Prison Personnel Statistics”, Cyprus has the highest ratio of police officers per 100.000 inhabitants among all EU member states. To examine this outcome, the Cyprus Police conducted cross-national research comparing the organization’s population and duties with those of other Law Enforcement Agencies in the European Union. This article will elaborate on the limitations of cross-national comparative research, which the authors came across during the aforementioned study.

This article reflects a conference contribution as presented by the author on behalf of CEPOL - the EU Agency for law enforcement training, to the Council of Europe conference on the role of police in democratic societies. After a historical examination of the context leading to the publication of the European Code of Police Ethics against the backdrop of the 2004 EU Enlargement after the decade of reforms in the countries of the former Eastern European block, the article examines the importance and the challenges of fundamental rights and police ethics from a training viewpoint ,against the backdrop of the changing landscape of policing in democratic societies.

Evidence-based policing remains misunderstood and under-appreciated. This article clarifies what it is, emphasizing its value in informing police practices in conjunction with experience, judgment, and craft knowledge. It also argues for a broad framework simply because policing has a broad mission. In other words, evidence-based policing is more than evidence-based crime control. Data, analysis, and the other tools of science can help police increase their effectiveness across the multiple bottom lines of policing.

The Council of Europe is an international organization that promotes and protects human rights. Leaders within the Council of Europe accentuated the importance of effective training and training evaluations since 1993, but human rights training evaluation for law enforcement officials is still not sufficient to fully promote and to protect human rights. Program managers organize and evaluate training for law enforcement officials, but many program managers do not apply the evaluation guidelines of the Council of Europe. The researcher in his exploratory multi-case study interviewed a sample of 11 out of a population of 30 focusing on their strategies to evaluate human right training for law enforcement officials. The theoretical framework that has been applied was Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model. While the first (reaction) and second (learning) level provide assessment for internal validity, the third level assesses the behaviour of participants, and the result level shows the external validity of the program. The leadership style used by the Council of Europe leaders determines their strategies. Transactional leadership might be appropriate to guide program managers to adhere to the evaluation guidelines. However, Council of Europe leaders who follow the transformational leadership approach are more likely to lead their program managers effectively. The findings of the study surprisingly showed that program managers independently developed strategies to evaluate law enforcement training. The qualitative multi-case study promoted an understanding of the strategies used by program managers to evaluate human rights training.

Tax crimes have continued to overreach legal clarity, enforcement certainty, fiscal performance and effective public policy in the European Union (EU). The criminal justice countermeasures that have been devised to confront the vitality, intransigence and impacts of tax crimes have consequently been far from being effective and efficient. Guided by the research outputs of an EU funded PROTAX, an advanced solution-hunting research project for tax crimes, this article identifies the uncertainties embedded in the definition of tax crimes in the legal frameworks across the EU Member States as one of the key impediments that weaken the resolve to fight against tax crimes in the EU effectively. By utilising empirical and comparative legal research, this article delves into the main gaps in the criminalisation of tax evasion behaviour. It urges for the development of new methods that can effectively counter tax crimes in the EU.

Images and videos, which have always had a huge impact upon the way people perceive the world and form their convictions, are pervasive in today’s reality more than ever. Even in the forensics scenario, evidences are more and more often composed by multimedia in general and visual data in particular. Since the new meaning of “original data” in this digital world requires new approaches to ensure the admissibility of these elements as evidence in a trial, starting from the first years of this century the need to prove the authenticity of a digital evidence became crucial. This work introduces the sub area of Digital Forensics, which has the aim to define and develop the procedures devoted to help operators in this challenging research area. After an introductory part, the topic of this paper was introduced, starting from the meaning of digital evidence, and following with the definition of Image / Video Forensics as a branch of the forensic sciences. Then some methods allowing the extraction of significant information from the images when it is not readily available are examined in detail. Finally, a list of free and non-free software devoted to face the daily challenges coming from processing images and videos for forensic purposes is provided. The work ends with a list of publications containing the Best Practices in the field.

The ongoing pandemic is highlighting the fragilities of intimate partner violence deterrence in most European countries. The main objective of this research was to identify the outcomes of a national deterrence policy of intimate partner violence, complemented by special protection and support measures for mistreated women. One outcome was an increase in the prosecution and punishment of intimate offenders. The other was an apparent failure to reduce the prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. One of the possible causes for this failure can be a comparatively lower law enforcement investment in the persecution and punishment of intimate offenders.

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