Network launches to boost global security and crime fighters gathering evidence

Picture of group of security cameras.

The network will deliver world-leading research that addresses critical investigation and security challenges.

  • 23 September 2022
  • 4 min read

Experts from Britain and South Korea joined forces today to launch a global research network that will boost global security and crime fighting efficiency - improving police ID lineups and interviews with eyewitnesses, victims, and intelligence sources.

The UK-South Korea Eyewitness Memory Network unites psychology and law researchers with practitioners in both countries – creating partnerships that will have significant and enduring impacts on social science theory and practice.

Backed by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council, the initiative brings together expertise from the Universities of Portsmouth and Birmingham with Chung Ang University, in Seoul.

Professor Lorraine Hope, network co-founder and Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Portsmouth and Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) said: “This is a fantastic initiative for students and researchers as well as police, security, and legal professionals both in the UK and South Korea. The network will provide unique opportunities for networking and developing long-lasting routes for collaboration and knowledge exchange.”

Professor Lorraine Hope

This is a fantastic initiative for students and researchers as well as police, security, and legal professionals both in the UK and South Korea. The network will provide unique opportunities for networking and developing long-lasting routes for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Professor Lorraine Hope, Network co-founder and Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology

Network co-founder Heather Flowe, Professor of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, commented: “Witness memory plays a key role in apprehending guilty suspects, obtaining intelligence to prevent crimes and recover evidence, and in eliciting information about security threats.

“The network will deliver world-leading research that addresses critical investigation and security challenges. This will increase the accuracy and reliability of criminal identification parades and lineups, as well as improve investigative interviews with eyewitnesses, victims, and sources – enhancing intelligence gathering, statements, and testimony.”

Jang-Han Lee, Dean of College of General Education and Professor of Psychology at the Chung-Ang University in South Korea, commented: “Taking this opportunity, the establishment of a network between UK and South Korea will lead the study of witness memory, which plays a key role in police investigations. Given that the policing situation is culturally and practically different in the two countries, the network offers unique opportunities to stimulate high-quality cross-context research and knowledge transfer.”

The 18-month project will feature reciprocal research visits, academic conferences and a dedicated website in English and Korean, as well as social media activity. It will also provide development opportunities for early-career researchers, as well as students.

The network will be launched in an online showcase event on Friday 23 September.