Psychology Research to Help Detect Criminal Activity
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Police and security services will benefit from new research aimed at improving the investigation of criminal and terrorist activity, announced this week at the BA Festival of Science in York.
The research aims to develop techniques that combine technologies for geographical positioning and analysing communication signals with forensic psychology techniques for detecting deception during interviews with suspects.
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 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."
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, where one team representing the suspects competes against another team representing the police, and mock interviews with team participants in which evidence from tracking and communications is presented to interviewers to aid their questioning of suspects.
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.
The other Universities involved in the research are Nottingham University (location-based monitoring and data analysis - Professor Mike Jackson, Dr Bai Li), Leicester (Forensic Psychology - Prof. Ray Bull), St Andrews (Communications monitoring and analysis - Prof. Saleem Bhatti) and Leeds Metropolitan (data mining - Dr Elizabeth Guest).
Sun 14 September 2008
Lancaster University computer scientists are at the forefront of a UK-wide BBC initiative launched today to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.
Tue 07 July 2015
Over 200 pupils from eight schools across the North West got a taste of what it’s like to study STEM subjects at Lancaster University.
Wed 01 July 2015
Researchers at three top UK universities are developing new ways to simultaneously power and communicate with robots and other digitally connected devices – commonly known as the Internet of Things.
Mon 29 June 2015
An engineering student has received an award in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Mechatronic Student of the Year contest.
Wed 10 June 2015