Malaga’s finest creates world’s best police app

Welsh tourist in bother with Benidorm police

Image of police vehicle. Credit: PoliciaNacional/X

A police officer from Malaga is behind a digital revolution in policing, which reduces work from days and weeks to mere seconds.

On March 7, during the World Police Summit in Dubai, Ivan Moreno won the award for the best police application in the world. An innovation that may just be a game-changer in the world of law enforcement.

From hobbyist to innovator

Ivan Moreno’s journey began with a ZX Spectrum 128K, by the age of nine, Moreno was already navigating the developing world of computing. This passion led him to pursue a Higher Technician in Computer Systems Administration at the University of Malaga.

Despite an initial setback in the corporate world, Moreno found his calling in 2007 when he joined the National Police, with a determined goal to contribute to the Cybercrime Group—a dream that came to fruition in 2016.

Minerva: Digital wisdom

Minerva, named after the goddess of wisdom, emerged as a multifunctional suite designed to enhance the efficiency of cybercrime investigations. Moreno describes it as a ‘transversal suite that helps agents carry out cybercrime investigations and other criminal types.

From unmasking fraudulent web pages to the analysis of emails suspected of containing a scam, its capabilities extend to tracking and tracing crypto-assets across blockchains, significantly cutting down the manual labour from weeks to mere seconds.

‘When we ask for an IP from an operator, to save costs, they do not give us a single owner. 2,000 can be associated with that address. . .now, with Minerva, you enter them and it determines who was the person who participated in the connections that are the subject of the case,’ comments Moreno.

A living project with global reach

Minerva stands out as a living project, with potential for growth through AI and pattern training. Moreno notes, ‘It can be improved with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and pattern training,’ indicating its current capacity for audio translations and transcriptions.

This versatility makes Minerva a powerful ally not just for cybercrimes but across various units of law enforcement, embodying a repository of 20 functionalities tailored to the needs of individual officers.

After clinching the title of the best police application at the World Police Summit, Moreno has been inundated with inquiries. Yet, despite the potential for profit, he remains committed to the ethos of public service.

‘If I had been an individual, I could have sold it for a lot of money, but I am a civil servant,’ he reflects, underscoring his dedication to his role over monetary gain.

Moreno’s story is a testament to the impact one individual can have on the broader sphere of law enforcement, merging technical acumen with a commitment to public service.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.