New Monash University and AFP Research Centre Focuses on AI for Safer Communities

Monash University and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have partnered to establish a new research center that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to develop technology-based solutions for law enforcement and community safety. The AI for Law Enforcement and Community Safety Lab (AiLECS) is based at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.

The aim of AiLECS is to harness the power of emerging technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, to support law enforcement efforts. The focus areas include countering child abuse material, detecting illegal firearms, identifying misinformation, and analyzing online criminal networks.

Associate Professor Campbell Wilson, Co-Director of AiLECS, emphasized the importance of using AI ethically and responsibly. He highlighted the need to ensure that the datasets used to train AI algorithms are sourced ethically.

Since its establishment as a research lab in 2019, AiLECS has initiated multiple projects to enhance community safety and law enforcement capabilities. The expansion of AiLECS into a dedicated research center represents a strong collaboration between Monash University’s technological expertise and the AFP’s law enforcement experience.

Deputy Commissioner Lesa Gale of the AFP stressed the significance of the collaboration in combating tech-savvy criminals who exploit technology for illegal activities. She underlined the importance of addressing privacy concerns and ensuring ethical AI implementation.

The research center includes a team of AI and technology scientists from Monash University, as well as representatives from the AFP and law enforcement experts, including Professor Jon Rouse APM, well-known for countering child exploitation.

Among their ongoing projects, AiLECS is undertaking Project Metior Telum, which uses photogrammetry and 3D scanning to create a digital library of firearms. This initiative supports the development of advanced tools for detecting and combating firearms trafficking.

The AFP has provided funding for the AiLECS Lab through the Commonwealth Confiscated Assets Account, while Monash University has also contributed to its expansion.

The establishment of AiLECS showcases the potential of AI in supporting law enforcement efforts and creating safer communities. This collaboration between academic expertise and law enforcement experience sets a global benchmark for the responsible and effective implementation of AI technologies.