Research to assist in the investigation of criminal and terrorist activity

Sep 12, 2007

Police and security services will benefit from new research aimed at improving the investigation of criminal and terrorist activity. Scientists at The University of Nottingham are collaborating with experts at four other universities to develop techniques that combine technologies for location based games and analysing communication signals with forensic psychology techniques for detecting deception during interviews with suspects.

Professor Mike Jackson, Director of the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS) and Associate Professor Gary Priestnall, will lead research on the positioning and tracking of mobile devices and the systems architecture that will host the location-based games that will be used by the consortium. Dr Bai Li (Computer Science and Information Technology) will undertake games design and data analysis research.

The project, led by Lancaster University, has received £900k of funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to investigate whether deception can be identified reliably from suspects’ movements, communications and behaviours.

Professor Mike Jackson said: “This contract builds on the strength of the University and CGS for multi-disciplinary research. Results should not only be relevant to national security but also to a wide range of commercial and leisure-based applications where individuals want to use routing, navigation or location-based services or play location-based games.”

The three-year project will deploy and develop technologies that allow the tracking of individuals and the monitoring of communications between team members. Researchers will test the technology using 'treasure hunt'-style exercises. One team representing the suspects will compete against another team representing the police. Mock interviews with team participants will then take place in which evidence from tracking and communications is presented to interviewers. The interactions will be studied by psychologists and analysed by data-mining specialists to determine where the team participants are applying deception or where the account of their activities is true. The researchers will also conduct interviews to assess public awareness of, and response to, monitoring and surveillance in counter-terrorism.

Professor Tom Ormerod from Lancaster University, the project's principal investigator, said: "The extreme risks and rapid time frames associated with terrorist activities add to the difficulty of gathering evidence that might prevent an attack or lead to successful prosecution. It is vital that the police and security services are provided with tools that help them make reliable decisions about who to treat as a suspect and whether there is sufficient evidence to secure a prosecution, since immense damage can be caused by wrongful arrests based on misinterpretations of weak evidence.”

Source: University of Nottingham

Explore further: Movie world fears for freedom of speech as N.Korea parody pulled

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microbiome may have shaped early human populations

3 hours ago

We humans have an exceptional age structure compared to other animals: Our children remain dependent on their parents for an unusually long period and our elderly live an extremely long time after they have ...

Big-data analysis reveals gene sharing in mice

3 hours ago

Rice University scientists have detected at least three instances of cross-species mating that likely influenced the evolutionary paths of "old world" mice, two in recent times and one in the distant past.

Recommended for you

Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

9 hours ago

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's ...

Study reveals mature motorists worse at texting and driving

Dec 18, 2014

A Wayne State University interdisciplinary research team in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has made a surprising discovery: older, more mature motorists—who typically are better drivers in ...

Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

LA mayor plans 7,000 police body cameras in 2015

Dec 16, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan Tuesday to equip 7,000 Los Angeles police officers with on-body cameras by next summer, making LA's police department the nation's largest law enforcement agency to move ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.