Research Projects

Current projects

Police Mobile Technology: Benefits Realisation Project (2017)

Providing a six month academic collaboration with a consortia of police services, this project explores the issues influencing mobile technology deployment and the impact on officer behaviour and service delivery improvements. The research aims to provide evidence on the integration of mobile technology in a police environment to inform strategic and operational decision making, which will support greater consistency of delivery on identified benefits of mobile technology. The project team consists of David Allen (Information Management and Systems), Simon Williams (Operations and Information Management), Alistair Norman (Information Management and Systems), Stuart Lister (Criminal Justice), and Des Leach (Organisational Psychology).

Principal Investigator: Professor David Allen

Information, Technology and Policing (2016-2017)


Using two national surveys, ten case studies, and two Delphi studies, this project explores the influence on policing of key ICT development areas, trends and challenges over the next decade.

The research commenced with two national surveys exploring the current and future state of technology infrastructure in the police, and the use and transformation of mobile information. These are followed by ten case studies investigating five themes: social media, predictive analytics, performance, mobile technologies, and sourcing/outsourcing. Finally, two Delphi research studies are being undertaken as a method of future forecasting, focusing upon the topics of technology and transformation in policing and ESN.

The project is supported by an Advisory Board with representation from the Home Office, Cabinet Office, Police ICT Company, College of Policing, and others.

Principal investigator: Professor David Allen

Delivering Digital Drugs (2014-2017)
Delivering Digital Drugs (D3) logo

An exploration into a new area of study, that of digital drugs. A multidisciplinary team explores current and future developments around the digitalisation of medicines’ supply and use. Using theories and models from studies of the digital economy – concepts such as digital materiality, platforms, digital business models, open innovation – we aim to set new agendas for researchers, business and NHS managers, clinical professionals and policy makers.

Delivering Digital Drugs (D3) is a collaboration between the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds. The project is funded by Research Councils UK as part of the “New Economic Models in the Digital Economy” programme. RC grant reference EP/L021188/1 

Researcher/ Co-investigator: Dr Valentina Lichtner 

Hospital Electronic Prescribing and Medicine Management

A collaboration with NHS Improvements (NHSI) and NHS England (NHSE) for a six month knowledge transfer secondment (KTS). The aim of the study is to analyse NHS reported safety incidents to distil knowledge into digital medicines systems, to contribute towards the delivery of value from the use of digital medicine systems and novel methods for analysis of safety reporting system data.

The project is funded the EPSRC University of Leeds Impact Acceleration Account, as a spin-off of the Delivering Digital Drugs project.

Principal investigator: Dr Valentina Lichtner 

Completed projects

Immersive Reflective Experience-based Adaptive Learning (ImREAL) (2010-2013)
ImReal logo

The project develops a socio-technical approach to making sense of user-generated content (UGC) in order to improve simulators. We use activity theory as a conceptual framework to model different “messy” activities (such as a job interview, a business meeting or going to a restaurant in a foreign country etc.). The model is then transferred into an ontology, which is used to semantically augment content such as videos, comments, blogs and other UGC for use within a simulated learning environment. By doing so we aim to make simulations more realistic and more effective and contribute to the growing knowledge and applications of social-media and big data.

ImREAL (Immersive Reflective Experience-based Adaptive Learning) is funded from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no ICT 257831.

Relevant publications:
Karanasios, S., Thakker, D., Lau, L., Allen, D., Dimitrova, V. and Norman, A., 2013. Making sense of digital traces: An activity theory driven ontological approach. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64(12), pp.2452-2467.

Thakker, D. A., Dimitrova, V., Lau, L., Denaux, R., Karanasios, S., & Yang-Turner, F. (2011). A Priori Ontology Modularisation in Ill-defined Domains. In I-Semantics (7th International Conference on Semantic Systems). Graz, Austria.

ACROPOLIS (2010-2013)

ACROPOLIS aims to develop knowledge in the area of Cognitive Radio.

Spectrum is a finite resource and reports suggest that we are approaching a spectrum crunch. Cognitive radio has been put forward as a solution to the spectrum crunch. However, there are many open questions surrounding its application and acceptance. In this project we identify the evolving business models. This involves gathering market intelligence, analysis of trends and engaging industry leaders. A clear focus will be upon understanding factors which restrain and promote the development of the technology. Clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities afforded by the market should improve our capability to take advantage of the opportunities that these technologies offer. Another prime objective is to maintain an in-depth knowledge of the direction that technical developments are taking, and to understand the constraints set by key governmental bodies on Cognitive Radio.

This work is funded by the European Commission through the FP7 project ACROPOLIS (257626).

Relevant publications:
Baldini, G., Holland, O., Stavroulaki, V., Tsagkaris, K., Demestichas, P., Polydoros, A., Karanasios, S., Allen, D. (2013). The evolution of cognitive radio technology in Europe: Regulatory and standardization aspects. Telecommunications Policy, 37(2-3), 97-107.  

Worldwide Interoperability Microwave System for Next-Generation Wireless Communications (WiMAGIC) (2008-2010)

WiMAGIC is an industry-driven multidisciplinary research project which developed innovative solutions for future evolutions of WiMAX systems towards higher capacity, higher mobility and higher performance. A European FP7 research project.

Further information can be found here

Policing Activity and Mobile Information Seeking (PAMIS) 2008

PAMIS is an academic project seeking to explore the relationship between policing tasks, information resources, and the mobile delivery mechanisms. Among the themes of interest are the impacts of mobile devices on individual information behaviour, on communication processes within the police community, on collaborative work within police teams and on the existing division of labour.

The policing activities covered by the project are detective investigations, routine tasks during neighborhood policing (e.g. stop and search), policing of traffic violations, and supervisory functions carried out by sergeants or divisional commanders. Polices forces interested in contributing to the project are West Yorkshire, the Metropolitan, Lancashire, North Wales, Surrey, Sussex.

Research collaboration with the Metropolitan Police, West Yorkshire, the Police Information Technology Organization (PITO) and others, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Multiple Agency Information Sharing (MAIS) 2007

MAIS brings together representatives of the emergency services, local government agencies, national agencies and interested industrial partners to look at issues of information sharing. A research consortium of suppliers and public safety users.

The objective of the project is to investigate what barriers (technological, social and political) exist to the effective information collaboration of multiple agencies attending at the ground of an incident. The project aims to identify the information that each agency collects, holds and could potentially share with others.

The project was carried out in collaboration and alongside research activities carried out by other departments within the University of Leeds. 
The findings have informed the development of further research.

The project included a Proof of Concept (POC) trial to assess the benefits of WiMax technology for supporting operational policing is in an advanced stage of delivery, hosted by West Yorkshire Police. In addition to examining the technical issues and concerns around the use of WiMax, the trial provide insight into how the use of WiMax and other technologies could be deployed by police and other emergency services in their pre-Tetra radio sites.

Evaluating Mobile Data Systems in Policing

This national project aims to identify the key areas of business benefit which can be realized from effective and planned implementations of mobile technologies. There are two key aims. The first one is to overview existing models for the evaluation of information systems. This includes a review of academic literature on evaluation as well as the identification and measurement of business benefits relevant to the use of mobile technologies in policing. The second aim is to develop an appropriate evaluation model based on the case studies within each of the participating police forces. This model will be refined with the aim of ensuring that it is relevant to the wider UK policing context, and is suitable as both an evaluation tool as well as a predictive tool. The underlying theoretical perspective we use for developing a model is activity theory. Using activity theory we develop a more holistic view of mobile technologies within organisations, with specific reference to a cultural-historical perspective. We also draw on the concept of contradictions within activity theory to help examine potential areas of change and innovation with regard to the introduction of new technologies in organisations.

The project has come out of a realization by AIMTech and key commercial and public safety partners that there is a relatively unsophisticated understanding of the actual business benefits which can be gained from the use of mobile technologies to provide information to officers whilst mobile. Without such an understanding there is a risk that projects will fail to target actual areas of gain, or will fail to achieve real business gain whilst delivering technical success.

This project is a collaboration of police forces, including West Yorkshire Police, Lancashire Police, The Metropolitan Police. 

Innovation in UK Police Forces (2008)

An investigation of the process of innovation within police forces in the UK in order to better understand the nature of this process and the interactions occurring within it. The project was funded by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) and supported by Staffordshire, Strathclyde and Surrey police forces.

Future Trends in Command and Control

Research exploring the technological, social and cultural changes shaping the Command and Control rooms of the future.

Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) Evaluation in Islington (2006)

AIMTech assisted the Metropolitan Police Service to identify the issues related to the variable use of MDTs by officers working in response vehicle in Inner London. PhD studentship sponsored by APD Communications.

Kent Police Systems

Evaluation of a systems trial of the provision of mobile data to response officers in emergency response vehicles (ERVs) via in car MDTs. Funded by Kent Police.

Fire Control Information Management Project

Project to examine information need at incidents by role and time.

Project Nomad Mobile Data Evaluation Tool

Production of a web based tool for mobile data device choice.