Identifying hostile and criminal intent

Behavioural Analysis 2018 is a two-day security conference exploring non-racial profiling, stress responses, behavioural indicators and tactical risk analysis techniques. Counter Terror Business looks ahead to the show

Over the past few years, transportation hubs, entertainment venues, sporting events, markets, beaches, museums, places of worship and city centres have all witnessed callous acts of terrorism, let alone actions by those with psychological problems, which have resulted in fatalities and serious injuries to unsuspecting members of the general public.

Behavioural Analysis 2018 delegates will be gathering in the iconic Principality Stadium in Cardiff on 14-15 March to look at the behavioural traits of the, often suicidal, perpetrators and consider how the early identification of such indicators might have helped prevent the attacks being successful. It will also importantly look at how behavioural analysis techniques can enhance the security of an event or any given venue.

Behavioural analysis and crowd surveillance techniques are used in a broad range of different environments and the event kicks off with a look at some industry sectors where presenters explain how surveillance has enhanced security and addressed specific challenges beyond that of terrorism. Michael Whine, of the Community Security Trust, will be speaking about ‘Places of Worship: communities protecting themselves’, whilst Andrew Wolfe Murray of Theseus Partners will be talking about ‘Sporting Events: combatting court-siding and gambling’. Finally, human trafficking will be examined, from a transportation industry perspective, by Sarah-Jane Prew of the Wales Anti-Slavery Leadership Group.

There are a number of case studies during the event, including from London’s The O2 Arena, from Munich’s Oktoberfest, how behavioural detection was incorporated into security operations of the British Transport Police, and, from Romania, the impact of behavioural analysis for those responsible for observing, targeting, engaging and responding to those who may pose a serious threat to airport safety and security.

In a session on ‘The Biology of Fear & Deception’, delegates will learn about some popular misconceptions regarding behavioural analysis. In ‘Fight, Flight or, Perhaps, Freeze: anxiety isn't always what it seems’, Louise Jupe of the University of Portsmouth sets out to explain the way in which our bodies might emit indications of discomfort or anxiety. Delegates will gain a better understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the fight or flight response and how we might (or might not) be able to identify deception through observation of visible physiological reactions to stressors. The presentation will also consider what steps those with ill intent might take to cover up signs of stress which would otherwise be emitted and the reasons why not every liar displays signs of nervousness in the first place.

Intuitive Bias
It’s impossible to consider behavioural analysis without considering ‘Stereotyping, Perception & Racial Profiling’. Colombian man. Thai woman. The phrases conjure up intuitive stereotypical images, often negative in nature and unfairly so. Humour is also based on such stereotypes, hence concepts such as the Irish joke or Jewish joke. The terrorist threat is often perceived to be exclusively Islamic nature, regardless of the statistics. How exactly do such intuitive judgments affect and bias our decisions? Wim De Neys of Université Paris Descartes explores ‘Intuitive Bias’. Also Ran Cohen, of the SDR® Academy in The Netherlands presents on ‘Good Looking People & the Halo Effect’ explaining our predisposition to view more attractive individuals as innocent and those less so as being more likely guilty of committing a crime.

In a panel discussion on ‘Religious Sensitivities in Security Decision-Making’, representatives of Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faith consider challenges their communities face, both in terms of stereotyping and subsequent screening.

There are some anti-social and illegal activities which impact a broad range of industries. Theseus Partners’ David James sets out the ‘Profile of the Fixated Threat in Action’, whilst the ‘Profile of Group Offenders’ is presented by Dr Jessica Woodhams, co-director of the Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing at the University of Birmingham. The ‘Profile of Frotteurs & Sexual Deviants’ is described by Dr Lynsey Gozna of the University of Leicester, and that of the dyber driminal by Nadine Touzeau from France.

From a policing perspective, Nick Glynn of the Open Society Initiative for Europe will set out the challenges of stop and search, whilst Mick Neville will explain how super recognisers rely on the human brain, rather than technology, to identify threats, and how police forces are now deploying them in order to detect known terrorists, criminals or, in a sports stadium, hooligans. Behavioural analysis does not necessarily mean subjective decision making. There are emerging technologies which might help security agencies identify persons with negative intent. Intelligent CCTV (Simon Moore, Cardiff University), Facial Thermographs (Reyer Zwiggelaar, Aberystwyth University) and Layered Voice Analysis (Amir Liberman, Nemesysco) are just three of the solutions which will be presented.

The Insider Threat
It’s all very well identifying an individual with negative intent, but how should the security services react? Charlotte Hudson of the University of Portsmouth will present on ‘The Art of Questioning’ and Ofir Malka, of SafeZones, Germany will cover ‘Emergency Response: when you think the threat is real’. After all, perhaps the greatest challenge for the security operative is knowing what to do when they feel a person they initially suspected of having negative intent is actually about to commit a criminal act. All too often responses become watered down by either excessive reporting channels or a preference for keeping people under surveillance...potentially until it's too late. At one end of the scale the observer may be faced with the protestor, who means no harm, or streaker who is exhibitionist in nature, yet at the other end is the suicidal terrorist who must be stopped before reaching their intended target.

The insider threat is one of the most significant concerns for the security services – the trusted individual morphing into the attacker. How can organisations best identify the employee who poses a threat – particularly those who may been radicalised - and, having done so, how is that threat best managed? The subject of ‘Insider Threat Response: identifying radicalisation in the workplace’ will be addressed by Dr. Usama Hasan of the Quilliam Foundation.

Over the past few years there have been an abundance of attacks perpetrated by heavily armed individuals with a range of ideologies and psychological mindsets, the massacre in Las Vegas being the most recent example. How can gun crime be anticipated? In a paper entitled Marauding Firearms Attacks: not always by suicidal terrorists, Leeran Gold of Promises Healthcare, Singapore, examines the profile of those who kill en masse.

Who becomes a suicidal terrorist and why? It’s a question often posed. More appropriately for this conference, we address the question of how is the suicidal terrorist selected and what training do they undergo? ‘The Suicidal Terrorist: recruitment & training’ will be presented by Israeli criminologist Dr. Sagit Yehoshua.

And, last but not least, in a paper entitled The Proof of the Pudding: attacks against aviation identified by behavioural analysis, Green Light’s Philip Baum demonstrates how behavioural analysis techniques have actively prevented suicidal attacks against the aviation industry and how might the lessons be adopted by those involved in securing sports stadia, entertainment venues, festivals and tourist attractions.

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