EMERITUS project presented at a press conference hosted by CIFAL Malaga

CIFAL Malaga hosted a press conference at the Malaga City Council to present the EMERITUS project.
CIFAL Malaga's press conference

On 17th January 2023, CIFAL Malaga held a press conference at the Patio de Banderas of the Malaga City Council to present the EMERITUS project. The speakers were the Councilor for Security of the Malaga City Council, Avelino Barrionuevo, and the director of CIFAL Málaga, Julio Andrade, who presented the European project aiming to develop and implement a protocol for the effective investigation of environmental crimes and deliver a training supplementary programme to enhance the capacities of the authorities in charge of the application of environmental regulations. The EMERITUS protocol will integrate several innovative surveillance and analysis technologies, such as drones, satellite data, virtual sensors, geo-intelligence data, etc.

During the press conference, in which a dozen journalists from the media from the province of Malaga participated, the two managers also described the project consortium, which has brought together eight police authorities from five countries, four security experts, two training specialists and six technology partners, who will be the core of the platform. Thus, a total of twenty partners and three affiliated entities participate in the project, including local administrations, police, technology and research centres and companies. To validate its approach, the project will develop four use cases that will take place in the cities of Malaga, Turin and Athens, as well as on the border between Romania and Moldova.

The consortium will focus on the co-creation of an intervention protocol focused on the investigation of environmental crimes to develop a geo-intelligence platform. This platform will integrate various surveillance and investigative technologies and data sources into a single system to support law enforcement authorities and decision-makers.

The Malaga City Council has been working in this sense since June 2022, when the Local Government Board approved its adhesion to the European project. It has been working through the local police and in coordination with the Municipal Water Company (EMASA) and the Environment Area, as well as through the Computer Science and Nature Protection Groups, and has been focusing on areas of the Guadalhorce River where discharges can occur that damage water quality and endanger the natural habitat.

To this end, the points where these spills have been detected and the possible location of sensors and cameras brought by the project partner CETAQUA and direct participant in the Malaga use case are currently being studied. Although initially, the work focused on the detection of faecal water, new studies are underway to include other types of discharges, such as detergents or oils.

Moreover, CIFAL Málaga will be developing a training program for security police authorities focused on the investigation and prevention of waste-related environmental crimes, which will combine theoretical aspects and practical simulations to train end-users in the use of the platform and related-technologies.