Plans & Methods [EN]

SIM4SECURITY WebGIS application and model will offer special and potentially important means to support planning and decision-making, providing the responsible institutions for public policies within national security sector with the ability of creating scenarios by crossing demographic forecasting with spatially dynamic tools and models. Such model will allow achieving a balanced and optimized distribution throughout the territory of public security forces and facilities according to population evolution. Several studies show that the ratio police / population vary in a nonlinear way according to population size. In Portugal there are no studies on this issue. To overcome the current problem, the research team proposes to build an algorithm that optimizes that ratio in order to i) establish the ratio police/citizen, ii) build the simulation platform and iii) estimate the future needs of public security system.

The problem is important and interesting because Portugal as dual system of territorial security forces and in the current economic and financial situation it needs to make the best use of available public resources. Security forces must know the exact boundaries of their jurisdiction and have the resources to tackle crime. In addition to what has just been said public security is an inseparable prerequisite from the exercise of the right to freedom. The academics and the security professionals are interested in sharing experiences and efforts, in order to achieve a safer Portugal and therefore more economically reliable and competitive systems. The result achieved will depend on the aggregation of good professional practice with the theories and scientific models brought to this project by the team researchers and the expertise of external consultants, as professionals and decisionmakers.

In what concerns the views and methodologies to adopt we believe SIM4SECURITY will produce a research that will be an asset for public security policies, using a multidisciplinary approach and backgrounds organizational diversity (IPRI, NOVA IMS). In the field of security, the team will conduct a review of the literature of crime theories and public security management models, as well as a comparative study of the solutions found by police in several countries with a similar matrix to Portugal. Demographic characteristics of a population always interact in a complex way with internal security system. We aim to cross a set of methodologies in order to promote a better understanding of the impact of ageing and changing migratory trends in next decades, taking into account that age structure, health status and level of education will influence the nature of most public policies. Population characteristics change in demographic, social, economic and biological terms. It is relevant to identify these characteristics at national and regional level so as to be able to offer possible scenarios to decision makers and regional planners in what regards future “users” of security services. These major trends are known. What is new in this case is that we will do demographic projections by sex and age disaggregated by parish, in order to predict micro analysis distribution trends, giving special attention to specific vulnerable groups, such as youngsters and seniors, and cross the output scenarios with wealth local standards and residence vulnerability, according to security classification (Urban Sensitive AreasZUS).

The two main problems we consider are: 1) distribution optimization of human resources and infrastructures of the security forces; 2) awareness of the dynamic character of the territorial reorganization of the police forces system, which must follow the change of volume and movement of the urban fabric. As such, we rely on the location of the security forces in proximity of the population to be served by the public security service and to be guaranteed the presence of authority, sending to the background the placement of such forces near political and administrative power. We will use an innovative multifactor simulation platform.

Another essential component of the SIM4SECURITY research Project, and which the team shows relevant experience and knowhow (Teresa Rodrigues; Marco Painho; Pedro Cabral; Roberto Henriques; Tiago H. Moreira de Oliveira), is related with the development of a dynamic database and model, supported by a GIS.

We will also consider educational attainment as an indirect predictor of vulnerability and although no official data is available we will use reliable multistate projections already done for a FCT financed project.

We will use demographic cohort and survival analysis in order to: a)identify and characterize Portuguese population dynamics main trends until 2030; b)consider ageing phenomenon as inevitable and forecast its impact on population’s distribution; c)understand and relate these demographic dynamics with socioeconomic changes and wealth micro regional pattern and migratory trends; d)forecast future changes in demographic structures by age, sex and educational level and the way they will influence security risks and perceptions. We aim to implement a Land use and cover change (LUCC) model to study urban growth, which will be validated and will enable to create scenarios of future urban growth. LUCC models are one potentially important way of understanding the urban growth phenomena. They can be very useful for politicians and urban planners as an educational tool to visualize different scenarios of urban change. Currently there are dozens of LUCC models and the criteria to distinguish between them is very diverse: the aggregation level, the use of discrete or continuous mathematics, the type of data, the methods employed in the state of cells definition, the types of outputs, etc. Developing efforts to compare modeling results is an important topic in the LUCC research agenda. The rapid expansion of urban areas is related to the economic, political, and cultural reality of the territory. Urban sprawl generates a chain of problematic issues, which can be prevented with planning and land management strategies.

SIM4SECURITY will cross demographic forecast results along with land use maps forecast. Using this information as input, the goal is to create spatially contiguous or near contiguous regions using several criteria such as the resident population, socioeconomic attributes or total area. This can be also seen as a specific type of clustering where instead of using only a similarity criterion some other criteria are used in the process. This process is usually known as Zone design (ZD) and it can be defined as the task of grouping a set of basic areal units into a smaller number of zones which are in some sense optimal. Some examples of the criteria used in the grouping process might include combinations of the number of zones required, constraints on the population size, the compactness of zone shape, etc. This task is usually associated with the use of computation and automatic procedures. This problem can also be seen as an optimization problem, where an initial configuration of zones is presented and the process tries to improve it by swapping basic units between zones while optimizing the objective function. We propose two different approaches for solving this optimization problem: the first uses SelfOrganizing Maps, a particular artificial neural network while the second approach uses genetic algorithms to achieve good solution. The use of the DELPHI methodology may contribute to confirm the new needs that are identified, since security experts are heard. Though the creation of an algorithm that establishes the relationship between public security resources and population, in order to optimize the distribution of security. We will generate a model that assures: i) adequacy of the distribution of police resources according to the characteristics of the population; ii) spatial dynamic and demographic subgroups prospective scenarios and impact assessment of security forces territorial distribution.

In order to accomplish these objectives the Project activities are structured into seven Working packages: 1) Project Management; 2) Study, analysis and diagnosis of the current national situation, regarding population and public security: a) Population dynamics; b) Security Forces (resources and location); c) Characterization of the distribution and typology of the security forces according to population characteristics; 3) Demographic Forecast and Scenario development: Population Risk Groups: (a) Population projections (20112030) by sex, age and micro simulation of risk groups (according to previously identified criteria of age, sex, national origin, place of residence) scenarios; b) Distribution Model of the Security Forces strength and equipment location; 4) Development and Implementation of a Geographic Information System and design of a dynamic geoprocessing Model: (a) Development and Implementation of a WebSIG application; b) Making available a WebSIG application for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets); 5) Implementation of Advanced Spatial Analysis Methods (spatially dynamic clusters and modeling land cover change predictive model); 6) Modeling the distribution of Security Forces (number of officers and facilities location) according to the developed scenarios; 7) Project outreach and visibility though the Delphi exercise and final seminar will assure public discussion between the model results, the existing security policies and the opinion of selected experts. These steps will allow a more clearcut diagnosis and guidelines for decision makers on public investment and/or in private sector.

Project Timeline