Citizen Forensics

Research Institution / Organisation

The Open University

Principal Researcher

Professor Arosha K. Bandara

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

September 2018

Research Context

​The Citizen Forensics project will investigate how adaptive software architectures could support the contextual information flows required to deliver the community-police collaborations envisaged for Citizen Forensics, preserving key properties such as privacy and forensic-soundness. We aim to develop a socio-technical system aimed at promoting collaboration between citizens and the police through the exchange of data gathered using a variety of digital technologies, and will support the investigation of crimes and enhance public safety.

This research is being undertaken in collaboration with:

  • Professor Blaine A. Price, Professor Bashar Nuseibeh, Dr. Min Zhang, Carlos Acre-Plata (School of Computing & Communications, The Open University, UK)

  • Professor Graham Pike, Dr. Zoe Walkington, Dr. Lara Frumkin, Dr. Camilla Elphick (School of Psychology and Counselling, The Open University, UK)

  • Professor Mark Levine, Dr. Richard Philpot (Department of Psychology, Lancaster University)

  • Centre for Policing Research and Learning, The Open University, UK

Research Methodology

We investigate the role of adaptive technologies in the context of police investigations and public safety for enhancing the role of the "digital citizen" through the creation of "virtual civic spaces" for citizen-police collaboration. We use our findings to build an adaptive software architecture that supports the contextual information flows required to deliver the community-police collaborations envisaged for Citizen Forensics, preserving key properties such as privacy and forensic-soundness.

Multi-disciplinary: We draw on expertise in computing, policing, psychology and organisational theory to deliver on our objectives working together with our partners who represent both policing organisations and communities, as well as the broader community of researchers, policy makers and software developers. This will enable the co-creation of research challenges and their solutions.

Interim reports and publications

Selected Publications:

Bandara, Arosha; Zhang, Min; Price, Blaine; Pike, Graham; Elphick, Camilla; Walkington, Zoe; Frumkin, Lara; Philpot, Richard; Levine, Mark; Stuart, Avelie and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2020). Towards Citizen Forensics: Improving Citizen-Police Collaboration. In: Workshop on Crime and/or Punishment: Joining the Dots between Crime, Legality and HCI, Extended Abstracts of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 25-30 Apr 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA. Link: http://oro.open.ac.uk/69643/

Elphick, Camilla; Philpot, Richard; Zhang, Min; Stuart, Avelie; Walkington, Zoe; Frumkin, Lara; Pike, Graham; Gardner, Kelly; Lacey, Mark; Levine, Mark; Price, Blaine; Bandara, Arosha and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2020). Building trust in digital policing: A scoping review of community policing apps. Police Practice and Research (In press). Link: http://oro.open.ac.uk/74072/

Zhang, Min; Bandara, Arosha; Price, Blaine; Pike, Graham; Walkington, Zoe; Elphick, Camilla; Frumkin, Lara; Philpot, Richard; Levine, Mark; Stuart, Avelie and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2020). Designing Technologies for Community Policing. In: CHI EA '20: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems pp. 1–9. Link: http://oro.open.ac.uk/69644/ 

For a complete list of project publications, see: https://www.citizenforensics.org/publications/

Date due for completion

March 2022
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