Serious gaming is becoming a widely used solution for education and training in the corporate sectors, since interactive simulated situations in games allow effective dynamic training for trainees and staff in a safe and controlled virtual environment.

One of the most beneficial uses of serious games for training is the ability to simulate a task that otherwise might prove very dangerous or risky for inexperienced staff and the general public whom they are servicing. Games and gamifications of occupational training are also a cost-effective solution to the reduced budget and increasing demand and complexity of training in public services.

The gamification of learning is a powerful principle, which can remove a lot of the monotony in traditional lectures and paper-based learning through the incorporation of multiple game design techniques.

The PLUS (Police Training Using Simulations) project is a gamified training application funded by the HEIF5+1 grant in collaboration with Dorset Police force. The application is currently in its second phase, with all the gaming and training mechanics now built for the Stop and Search procedures, the general scope of the project will be expanded as well as refining the overall experience through user testing/feedback.

Stop and Search, which must be conducted lawfully and effectively, is one of the core curriculums in police training and the one that has a great impact on the policing and public relations. The aim of this project is to improve the quality and efficiency of training on the procedure, enhancing the transition between the theory and real-life practice through gamification technologies.

Our research

This project is specifically targeted at key training and development opportunities that are pivotal to preparing police officers in real-life situations, such as learning fair and effective Stop and Search encounters for community policing, and the best use of the Stop and Search scheme.

CGi image of a man by a tree

We are developing a computer system that can simulate a large and varied range of Stop and Search scenarios that match the complex nature of Stop and Search, i.e. a scalable and engaging gamification framework that can truly support police learning. To this end, our objectives are:

  • To develop a multi-platform virtual training system to enable realistic role-playing Stop and Search training
  • To evaluate the use of the system through a pilot study on a cohort of police officers/trainees within police forces.
Hand holding a tablet

A 3D gamification system is being developed and a case study of Stop and Search based on the College of Policing training materials has been chosen. We have been developing an artificial intelligence conversational dialogue system that is capable of encapsulating the full scripts of the chosen Stop and Search scenario and allows real-time interactions between users and NPCs (non-player controlled characters).

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