Meet our Cybercrime Expert
Our Cybercrime Expert at EUPOL COPPS can easily be described as ‘a smile in uniform’. Esther Sense, an experienced Police Officer from Germany, holding the rank of Chief Police Investigator, joined EUPOL COPPS earlier this year and aside from her years of experience in her fields of expertise, has brought to the Mission a sunny demeanor that is a pleasure to witness daily. Esther is always ready with a kind word and a pleasant greeting, which of course, made our interview with her all the more pleasant. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)I hail from Hannover, Germany. I joined the German Police Force in 2001 and spent the first years of duty in the riot police and carrying out patrol service. In 2008 I was seconded to one of the first, newly founded Cybercrime Units in Germany, where I was part of the team building the unit from scratch.From 2013 to 2016 I worked in an IT-Development Department as a software developer for police related software.Since 2013 I have been seconded to the IT-Forensic Department. First as a regular Officer for IT-Forensics and since 2020, following a three year course at the federal CID and at university, I became a certified expert for IT-Forensic with specialisation in Linux and Car Forensics. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPSI am seconded by Germany as a Cybercrime Expert within the Police Advisory Section, and my direct counterpart is the Cybercrime Department of the Palestinian Civil Police. My portfolio seeks to support the PCP in their cybercrime endeavours, taking into account the many challenges they face, such as lack of updated equipment. I also support them on a more holistic level, including raising awareness of cybercrime within the population, a topic which is not only increasing in importance, but is one which is of direct interest to the community as a whole. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?Working with our counterparts, as well as all Mission Members, and building friendships with such a diverse set of colleagues. Operating in a sensitive theatre such as ours, I feel very fortunate to witness different cultures in my daily life, and to call this historically special place in the world home. It is a very special experience, and one which I appreciate daily. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?As with any other branch of the PCP, a number of political issues contribute towards the challenges faced in executing the PCP’s mandate on a daily basis. The Cybercrime Department is relatively new within the PCP, founded in 2013. In keeping with their mandate, the department works on a high technical level, which is hardly understandable for non-technical persons. Since digital evidence becomes more and more important for criminal investigations, I am of the view that this department needs to increase their capacities, specially in the forensic lab, to ensure a proper and acceptable way of collecting evidence and to prevent illegal investigation methods. This has to be done not only by expanding the working environment to contend the rising numbers of cases in the Palestinian Territories, but also through constant training in investigation of digital evidence and data privacy to face the challenges that come with this very fast evolving and internationally linked field of police work. Esther, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the PPIO Team. Your portfolio is indeed fascinating. Despite the challenges, keep up your positive approach and we are always on hand to continue to support your highly commendable efforts!
Meet our Community Policing Team
The Community Policing Team within the Police Advisory Section here at EUPOL COPPS is composed of two very experienced colleagues, hailing from Italy and Canada respectively. Pietro Tripodi, Sostituto Commissario della Polizia di Stato holds the post of Community Policing Senior Advisor, and joined EUPOL COPPS in November 2021; whilst Sergeant Brian Lowe, Halton Regional Police Service is our Community Policing Advisor and joined the Mission in October 2021. Whilst Pietro and Brian have had very diverse careers, the evident silver thread is their years of experience (over 70 years between them) in their respective Police forces, which in turn has enabled them to not only form an excellent team, but to establish a strong and fruitful working relationship with our local counterparts, as they successfully execute their mandate within the Mission. The Community Policing Team sat down with the PPIO Team and shared their experience within EUPOL COPPS. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise)Pietro: I’m a Police Officer serving in the Italian State Police for the last 36 years. During my career I have held various roles, such as armed response patrol crew and supervisor, as part of United Nation Police in Kosovo and as part of the European External Action Service as a duty officer within the Situation Room and at the Military Staff Watch Keeping Capability.Brian: I am seconded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to this Mission. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, and have 35 years of policing experience and have been involved in community patrol, investigations, SWAT, Explosive Disposal, Ground Search and Rescue and Marine Patrol. My skill set includes planning, training, and operations of the various functions I have worked within. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPSPietro: Within the Mission I hold the post of Senior Police Advisor for the Community Oriented Police. In a nutshell the duties and responsibilities revolve around advising our counterparts within the Palestinian Civilian Police the best way to close the gap between the Police and society as a whole. Not an easy task given our area of operation and its challenges, but we are fortunate to enjoy an excellent working relationship with our counterparts, both centrally and throughout the districts, which in turn enables us to execute our mandate strategically and in partnership with the PCP.Brian: I am a Community Policing Advisor, and my role is to provide my PCP counterparts with strategic advice on Community Policing operations and training. As Pietro has mentioned, our working relationship with our local counterparts is a very fruitful one, and this thanks to our joint efforts in establishing a solid ground for our partnership, which goes from strength to strength. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region?Pietro: Forming part of EUPOLCOPPS is a truly rewarding experience: The Mission is formed of colleagues from all around EU as well as from Contributing Countries. That creates a very unique “melting pot” in term of fields of expertise and personal experience. Within the EUPOLCOPPS Police Advisory Section I have the pleasure to lead a Community Policing team in which Brian, my Canadian colleague and friend, and I ensure that our duties and responsibilities meet the requirements of our direct counterparts, and that we are able to positively contribute to the Community Policing portfolio within the PCP. The clear perception of everyday efforts by all Mission members in order to “make a difference” in working with our respective counterparts is what makes me proud to work in the Region.Brian: aside from our operational activities coming to fruition, what I value is the unique opportunity to meet and work with so many colleagues and local citizens from a wide variety of operational, national and cultural backgrounds. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome?Pietro: It is evident that EUPOLCOPPS operates in quite a delicate and unique right in the middle of the longest standing conflict in history. That places on our shoulders the added responsibility to understand the present situation and to do our utmost to collaborate closely with our local and international counterparts, drawing from our personal experience and expertise, thus exchanging best practices and solid policing values, the ultimate goal being the building of a modern Police Force enjoying the full trust of the society.Brian: Changing mindset in regard to adapting more community policing approaches versus the traditional reactive “catching bad guys” approach. While old school reaction to calls from the public still forms a significant percentage of police work, getting ahead of issues in response to community input and tackling problems in a collaborate multi-stakeholder approach is an effective tool when added to the police “tool kit”. Pietro and Brian, thank you! The PPIO Team is very pleased to support your endeavours. Given that your portfolio is very closely linked to ours in terms of public perception and trust in the local Authorities, we look forward to our continued partnership on our projects. Keep up the good work and the excellent teamwork!