Virtual reality training for counter terror policing

In partnership with researchers at the University of Exeter and trainers at the Metropolitan Police, Cineon is using virtual reality (VR) to prepare police officers to spot terror-related activity.

During house searches, police officers need to be aware of signs that might indicate terror-related activity, as early identification may help to prevent incidents.

Effective searching requires officers to develop knowledge about potentially dangerous items, as well as have the ability to perform an effective search under time-constrained and pressurised conditions.

Searching task showing eye tracking data in VR (red dots)

Practising searches in VR allows much more flexibility for training and is likely to be a substantial improvement on current classroom-based methods.

This work, led by Dr David Harris (University of Exeter), aims to use gamified learning to teach officers about dangerous materials and assess the search strategies of officers by using in-VR eye tracking.

More generally, the project which is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering UKIC programme, will research how skills can be learned in VR, and how virtual training can improve skill acquisition. Not just for policing, but for sporting skills like golf.