From 3 to 5 November 2014, the international conference 'Analytical Prague 2014' took place in Prague, Czech Republic. The conference was the culmination of a series of international analytical meetings and focused on modern data analysis within police processes.
'Analytical Prague 2014' is a prestigious international conference and pilot project of Europol, organised in cooperation with the Czech and Austrian Police Forces.
The main conference topics were chosen on the basis of a survey in which analysts from participating countries were asked about the areas of most interest to them. Three main thematic blocks were selected on the basis of that survey. The first part covered social network analysis and how to use social networks as a source for important criminal knowledge and information. The second part focused on geographic information systems, and the final part was devoted to the analysis of audio and video recordings, and latest developments in facial recognition technology.
70 experts from 16 EU Member States and other partner countries and organisations (police officers, civil servants, academics and representatives from the private sector) participated in the conference. In addition to the representatives from Europol and the Czech and Austrian police, experts attended from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The conference was officially opened by the Czech Deputy Police President, Col. Zdeněk Laube, who highlighted the significance of analytical work in his speech. He pointed out that the area of data analysis is seen as a "very important part of police work where the rapid pace of development of modern information technology on the one hand allows for the continuous improvement of analytical processes and tools such as operating systems and crime mapping and, on the other hand, it puts high demands on learning and following the latest trends". The two speakers that followed were Ms Ireen Winter, Head of the analytical department of the Austrian police, and Mr Christian Jechoutek, Head of the Info Hub Business Area of Europol. They both highlighted in particular the need for and benefits of sharing the latest state-of-the-art analytical methods and procedures.