Virtual reality for counter terrorism police training

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Exeter

In Collaboration With

This is a Home Office funded research project being conducted on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Virtual Reality Team.

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2018

Research Context

Since 2017 Counter Terrorism Protective Security Operations (PSO) based in the Metropolitan Police, have been exploring the potential benefits virtual reality (VR) technology can bring to police training and operations. This resulted in the establishment of an internal VR production capability and the ViRtual team - Virtual Immersive Reality for Terrorism Understanding Awareness & Learning.

As well as identifying potential applications and creating counter terrorism VR training packages, the ViRtual team is dedicated to developing an impartial evidence base for the effectiveness of VR within policing - compared to traditional methods.

This two year research project has been commissioned to create and test a counter terrorism search training package for new recruits, whilst evidencing its effectiveness and how it is received by participants.

Research Methodology

​Pragmatic (Mixed) Research - Qualitative and quantitative research - measuring participant engagement, confidence and knowledge retention (compared to current employed methods).

  • A review of current academic/research literature 
  • Testing of the technology capability
  • Pilot scheme
  • Observational studies
  • Surveys 
  • Field research 
  • Participant interviews
  • Experimental research

A full research proposal and plan is available on request (please contact PS Kyle Hardcastle).

Interim reports and publications

​Available on request (please contact PS Kyle Hardcastle).

Date due for completion

May 2021
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