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Research and development data infrastructure for Law Enforcement

Primary supervisor

Campbell Wilson


This project concerns the investigation of suitable socio-technical data infrastructure for law-enforcement research and development. International collaboration between law-enforcement agencies, research institutions, and commercial organisations is vital to address the large scale technical challenges inherent in combating criminal network activity.  A significant issue in this work concerns the data infrastructure necessary for collaborative research into, and development of, analytical techniques and algorithmic models.

The Faculty of Information Technology has a mission to advance social good through its research. Key to this mission is the AiLECS (Artificial Intelligence for Law Enforcement and Community Safety) research lab. The AiLECS lab is a joint initiative of Monash University and the Australian Federal Police, and researches the ethical application of AI theories and techniques to problems of interest to law enforcement agencies. The work of the lab is applied in nature, we seek to rapidly translate our research into real-world solutions to significant threats to community safety.

While commercial infrastructure normally presents technical, ethical, and organisational challenges, the sensitivity, legal, and cross-jurisdictional characteristics of law-enforcement data presents significant additional constraints.While current efforts in this area are based on centralised repositories, jurisdictional constraints mean that it is likely that a federated model may be more scalable. Similarly, in many cases, the data itself is potentially sensitive and/or traumatising and cannot cannot legally be accessed by non-law enforcement personnel. Novel infrastructural approaches will be required to address these issues.

We anticipate that this research would proceed through the development and instantiation of a proof-of-concept prototype in partnership with law-enforcement, higher-education, and commercial organisations. It will involve the gathering of multi-stakeholder organisational requirements and the creation of a technical architecture with attention to affordances and technical standards for management and collaborative research. There will necessarily be a particular focus on the cross-jurisdictional legal and security implications for a federated infrastructure.  Similarly, this project should develop principles and mechanisms for governance, audit, and quality control of the data - including implications for the explainability of models or techniques developed from the data.


Required knowledge

Computer science and/or information systems background, ideally with some experience with systems architecture, infrastructure development and/or digital transformation.

Project funding

Project based scholarship

Learn more about minimum entry requirements.