WATER CRIMES Project shares knowledge internationally

The WATER CRIMES project team has contributed in recent months to a series of international meetings and conferences focusing on the latest advances in knowledge about water-related crimes in Europe. The project team is involved in presenting ongoing research activities and preliminary findings. The meetings also address such topics as environmental criminal justice, criminology, and water management and governance.

These events have provided the project team with fantastic opportunities help bridge knowledge gaps in this field, expand the project expert network and present ongoing activities.

WATER CRIMES events and project team interventions are summarised below.

Citizens Observatory for Water Management (COWM)

June 7–10, 2016, Venice, Italy

Citizen observatories are emerging as virtual and physical places where citizens and decision makers cooperate to gather and share information to promote innovative and shared solutions. The COWM 2016 conference explored roles and opportunities for active citizen participation in environmental monitoring and policy making.

The Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l'Innovazione (SITI), coordinating partner of the WATER CRIMES project, presented details about the project and established a solid relationship with Venice Basin Authority (VBA) and its network of international partners (mainly composed of water companies and utilities). A meeting is planned to explore further strategic opportunities — including allowing the Basin Authority to actively participate in the WATER CRIMES project.

World Water Week

August 28–September 8, 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues. This year’s theme was ‘Water for Sustainable Growth’.

The Research Centre on Security and Crime (RISSC), a WATER CRIMES project partner, presented the project and its main objectives during the poster session (poster available here). The “Water-related crimes and threats in Europe” poster was displayed during the whole week, which attracted more than 3,000 participants from 130 countries. The poster, based on a template provided by the Stockholm International Water Institute, contains elements related to the project challenge, working definitions of water crimes, project activities, and project partners.

The RiSSC also presented the project and its challenges during a seminar on August 28 (see the conference programme, pg. 21), which around 200 people attended. The Water Crimes project was presented as a case study during the closing ceremony of World Water Week.

Crisis, Economy and Punishment

September 15–16, 2016, La Coruna, Spain

The international conference Crisis, Economy and Punishment was organised by the ECRIM research group, a research group on crime and delinquency at the University of La Coruna, in collaboration with the National University of the Littoral, Argentina, and the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. The event drew around 45 scholars from a wide variety of American, Australasian and European countries.

Universidade da Coruña, a WATER CRIMES project partner, presented and described the main research lines, activities and dissemination strategies of the WATER CRIMES project to researchers participating in this international event.

16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology

September 21–24, 2016, Munster, Germany

The European Society of Criminology aimed to bring together people who are actively engaged in research, teaching and/or practicing in the field of criminology. Over 1,000 participants attended the conference, which focused crime and crime control (e.g. structure, developments and actors).

The Faculty of Criminal Justice of the University of Maribor, a WATER CRIMES project partner, presented a poster about the project. Information about related research was shared and many fruitful discussions were initiated.

Criminal Justice and Security in Central and Eastern Europe

September 26–27, 2016, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The title of 11th biennial Conference was ‘Safety, Security, and Social Control in Local Communities’. The primary aim of the conference was to exchange the latest views, concepts and research findings from criminal justice studies on safety, security and social control in local communities.

The Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l'Innovazione (SITI) presented a paper entitled “The Water Crimes Project: An initiative to identify and contrast criminal actions against water resources in Europe during a panel about Green criminology”.

The Faculty of Criminal Justice of the University of Maribor presented a paper titled “Providing water supply in local communities: A case study of Slovenia”, which established links with the WATER CRIMES project.

The WATER CRIMES project is co-funded by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union and aims to advance existing knowledge, gather information, and assess the threats, risks and impacts of water-related crimes in Europe. The project is developing the first detailed inventory of water-related crimes, organised the first European workshop on water-related crimes, and has produced a medium-range crime forecast scenario that will include policy recommendations and mitigation strategies.