Detective 2030 programme: making law enforcement and the judiciary fit for the digital age

November 26, 2021

Since the beginning of 2021, selected detectives, analytics from different Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies as well as internal affairs universities representatives are taking part in the Detective 2030 (D30) programme, which was initiated by the EU Advisory Mission (EUAM) and the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), aimed at increasing the digital investigation capacities and capabilities of Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies. The objective is simple, but not easy – to evolve in order to be up to speed with the fast-developing technologies used by criminals.

In the age of digitalisation, organised criminals are adapting to new technologies more than ever. “For example, more than 80% of all crimes include a digital component,” explains EUAM Senior Adviser on Financial Crimes, Paulius Klikunas, who pilots the project. “Unfortunately, law-enforcement authorities worldwide often do not have all necessary means to acquire the right tools needed for conducting digital investigations and this ambitious D30 programme is about to change that”.

Together with digitally aware experts and representatives from the different National Police (NPU) departments (Strategic Investigation, Internal Security, Cybercrime, Criminal Analysis), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), the Asset Recovery Management Agency (ARMA), EUAM and US INL identified the necessary skills needed for online data collection, collation, analysis necessary for detection and investigation for serious and organised crime activities using digital trace. The expected outcomes of this programme also include not only capacity building activities, but the development of standards for future digital detectives which could trigger the ‘digital detective’ as a new speciality and workplace, establishing networks and a knowledge repository to keep up with the exponential digital technologies.

“I’m fully aware that developed D30 programme should be introduced in all Ukrainian LEA’s digital transformation strategies,” noted EUAM Senior Adviser on Communications and Information Systems, Vygantas Ivanauskas. “When D30 will come into force and will be implemented, it wouldn’t be recognised as an only useful instrument stimulating an engagement with modern tools, reflecting challenges coming from the virtual world, but also constantly improving the capacity and capability of investigators to deal with increasingly complex crimes. We need to support the development of conducive conditions for every investigator to be able to operate with big data, to use modern analytical tools, to understand AI and benefit from it. And for these activities, the D30 programme would be perfectly designed.”

For Yevhen Panchenko, Head of Operative-Analytical Department at the Cyberpolice and involved in the training, “this D30 programme will help train appropriate police professionals to provide fast and high-quality detection of cybercrimes, online fraud, crimes in the field of intellectual property, as well as other crimes that leave digital footprints or that are committed using digital technologies.”

“The modern world is changing, so is crime,” underlines Mr Panchenko. “Therefore, continuous improvement of one’s skills in open-source research, obtaining evidence from technical tools, and information security is crucial for the modern professional and cyber police officer.”

Eventually, the Detective 2030 programme will allow civilian security sector actors in Ukraine to use a common approach, with standardised training programmes and an inter-agency network of digital investigations experts who work across the agencies to exchange best practices.