Computer game trains Scottish police to fight cyber crime

Written by Nicholas Mairs and Jenni Davidson on 21 September 2016 in News

New virtual reality software developed by Abertay University, Police Scotland and Droman Crime Solutions offers training in tackling cyber crime

Virtual reality cyber crime training - Image credit: Abertay University

A new virtual reality game that can be played on a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer aims to help the police tackle the challenges of cyber crime.

The “serious game” involves users interacting with a virtual flat, where they have to make decisions about the application of police powers.

Trainees find possible evidence and answer questions about legislation and legal procedures.

The game teaches them how to recognise and secure different digital devices, securing vital evidence that could be lost if the device is not handled properly.


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Users also learn how to assess the need for more expert support and provide advice and help to victims.

The simulation game was developed by a group of experts from Abertay University in partnership with Police Scotland and Droman Crime Solutions.

Dr Iain Donald, a lecturer in games production at Abertay University, said: “We specifically designed this as a game-based solution to the challenge of training thousands of police personnel who might be the first responders to an incident of cyber crime by telephone or scene visit.

“Currently, as evidenced by various inspection reports, UK criminal justice organisations experience significant difficulties in providing mainstream training to large numbers of their operational front-line staff.”

According to the game’s creators, this is more efficient in terms of both cost and time than traditional training techniques and provides real-time information on the current skills and capacity of the organisation.

The use of a game means training resources can be easily and quickly updated to reflect changes in technology, helping users to maintain their skills in a rapidly changing environment.

It will also be independently accredited so that all successful students will gain a professional development award.

Paddy Tomkins, chairman of Droman Crime Solutions, said: “Cybercrime continues to be a top-level threat to the UK generally and has the potential to disrupt commerce, public services and international confidence.

“Our innovation has the potential to ensure that communities across Scotland are served by appropriately trained, skilled and confident police officers and staff.”

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