Behavioural Analysis 2024: a preview

London, or more specifically the Gtech Community Stadium in Brentford, will be the venue for the sixth international security conference on tactical risk assessment and non-racial profiling. Security practitioners and academics will be gathering 21-23 May 2024 to exchange ideas, benchmark procedures and share best practice in respect of the identification of hostile, criminal or negative intent.

A record attendance gathered for Behavioural Analysis 2023 last May at Prague Airport. The London event is likely to well exceed that number based on early registrations and the interest demonstrated by the responses to the Call for Papers.

Philip Baum, founder and chair of the conferences, stresses that, “The security industry encourages the general public to see something and say something when it comes to the observation of suspicious activity”, yet, “too often it prioritises technology and downplays human intuition despite the historical proof of its efficacy.” He sees behaviour detection not as an alternative to screening technology but rather as a tool which should work in tandem with technology. “After all, technologies are often developed to identify the weapons and explosives of the past, whilst humans have a greater potential for identifying the threats of the future due to deviances in baseline behaviours”, and it was this message that Baum wanted to drive him in these now annual three-day gatherings.

Delegates to Behavioural Analysis 2024 will benefit from a behaviour detection officer-focussed masterclass delivered by one of the most preeminent names in the field of nonverbal behaviours - former FBI agent, Joe Navarro. The two-hour masterclass, entitled, What Every BODY is Saying to Security Professionals, serves as the centrepiece of the conference and Navarro will highlight how nonverbal communication and speed-reading people can help the security services identify those who might pose a threat to a vulnerable target or, indeed, themselves. Joe Navarro's book, What Every Body Is Saying, has now sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Other law enforcement perspectives being presented at Behavioural Analysis 2024 include, Sal Naseem - Senior Associate Fellow at The Police Foundation and the Former Director for London of the Independent Office for Police Conduct - who will be addressing the challenges of xenophobia, racism and bias in security decision-making in light of the conflict in the Middle East. Benjamin Delachal, the head of the Behaviour Detection Working Group at AIRPOL and, deputy head of the Aviation Security Department at France’s General Secretariat for Defence and National Security, will be examining how behaviour detection is being embraced by airport police in a European context, and Eirίkur Valberg, Detective Chief Inspector, Reykjavik Metropolitan Police and a lecturer in Criminal Investigation at the University of Akureyri, will be discussing developments in suspect interviewing in Iceland.

Innovative initiatives relating to behavioural science will be delivered by Maciej Dachowski of the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism's BI Hub in Qatar and Dr. Sarah Knight OBE of the UK's DSTL.

Global risk management consultancies will be sharing their data and insight, including Dr. Emma Bradford representing Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Alexandra James of Osprey Flight Solutions. Meanwhile, leading proponents of behavioural analysis in the consultancy and academic world who will be sharing their latest research include: An Gaiser, Prof. David Keatley and Dr. Sagit Yehoshua.

Whilst the conference focuses on the protection of crowded spaces, this year’s programme does explore how potential attacks can be identified through observation of suspicious indicators in online data. Additionally, a session is dedicated to the insider threat.

Truly international in nature, perspectives on behaviour detection will be presented from around the globe. Dr. Barbora Vegrichtová (Czechia) will discuss the identifying indicators of radicalisation and tendencies towards violent extremism; Varsha Avadhany (india) will present socio-cultural diversity appreciation of workplace violence in Asia and the West; Dan Werber (Hungary) will explain how to establish a BDO system utilising the experience of Budapest International Airport; and, Nkechi Onyenso (Nigeria) will provide a West African perspective on human intuition and investigative interviewing.

It's not only a question of identifying suspicious signs. As Baum points out, “That’s the relatively easy part. Being able to resolve signs through the elicitation of information by means of effective questioning techniques and subsequent management of persons of concern is essential,” if an organisation wishes to deploy non-racial profiling capabilities effectively. Hence sessions at Behavioural Analysis 2024 on The Question of Questioning and Human Resource Management of Behaviour Detection Units.

Terrorism is not the only threat behaviour detection officers are supposed to identify. It’s as much about recognising those who, perhaps experiencing poor mental health, could be a threat to others or themselves. The session on Stalking and Human Trafficking reflects this; Dr. Xavier L’Hoiry will explain how academics and law enforcement cooperated to develop a Sexual Trafficking Identification Matrix (STIM) to aid police comb adult services websites for indications of human trafficking and Dr. Kalliopi Ioannou will provide an exposé into technology-facilitated sexual violence in Greece.

And speaking of technology, an entire session on day three is devoted to AI and automated threat detection.

As always, a smorgasbord of presentations is on offer. Just down to you to register!

Counter Terror Business is delighted to report that it has negotiated a 15% discount off the prevailing rate for its readership. Simply enter the code CTB15 in the promotional code box of the registration form at www.behaviouralanalysis.com

May 21, 2024 to May 23, 2024
Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford, London, UK


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