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Digitising the thin blue line


As technology advances and crimes become more complex, law enforcement organisations are relying on cyber expertise to stay ahead of the game.

The digital revolution has changed everything – including crime. Smartphones are the new six-shooters, hackers the new trespassers.

Crime-fighters need new tools and intelligence to combat digital deviance. In the case of WA Police, that capability is being bolstered by Professor Craig Valli and the team at the ECU Security Research Institute (SRI) – now one of the leading digital security and forensic groups in the world.

“We are responding to real-world problems,” Professor Valli says.

“All crimes have a digital trace, so the Security Research Institute is applying its research and knowledge of systems to assist WA Police,” Professor Valli says.

Work carried out by Professor Valli and his team – which started in 2002 – includes analysing devices and information, disrupting networks, and developing training and curriculum for WA Police staff.

“Criminals often use new technology to their advantage. Our role is to stay ahead of the game with regards to understanding how these technologies work and how we can apply our research and knowledge to help solve crime,” he says.

A real impact on real issues

The SRI has also been supporting WA Police with curriculum development for training purposes.

“It is a synergistic relationship in terms of knowledge exchange,” Professor Valli says.

The partnership has ensured that the SRI’s research is applied, pragmatic and useful to the broader community.

“Our research is having a real impact on real problems,” Professor Valli says.

“As the partnership continues to strengthen, our goal is to have more ECU Master and PhD students working on police‑related matters, which will provide students with important industry experience,” Professor Valli says.

“While cyber-enabled crime continues to develop, the collaboration between WA Police and the Security Research Institute will ensure both parties are across new technologies and systems, with knowledge and skills shared to benefit the broader community.”

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