6 February 2018

Police use serious game from law students to train detectives

Een rij Nederlandse politieagenten

A game, developed by students of law and computer science at Utrecht University, is used by the police to train detectives in international criminal investigations.

Imagine this: two criminals have access to the same Gmail account. The suspicion is that both leave messages for each other in the draft mailbox. The police want to use these e-mails as evidence and have to confiscate the data in the United States. A request for legal assistance must be submitted for this. Such a request is by no means always granted because it does not meet (American) requirements. To tackle this situation, police detectives need to gain more knowledge of legal tools. A game can help them to get to know the right procedures and the right tools in a playful way. This game can teach them to avoid the many mistakes that are made during cross-border investigations.

Legal cases are the base of the game

Eight bachelor and master students of Law and a team of computer science students, all from Utrecht University, have developed a game based on legal cases in the past year. The police is now using this game to train detectives. The base of the game is formed by a number of legal issues that are quite comon in international investigations. They were collected and elaborated for the students by Mark Zoetekouw, legal advisor Cybercrime & Digital Technology, working for the Ducth National Police. Zoetekouw is also a PhD student at the Department of Law at Utrecht University, and part of the research group UNIJURIS / RENFORCE.

This game was developed in collaboration with the Dutch police and as part of the UNIJURIS project, which is subsidised by NWO and by the EU. UNIJURIS examines issues that arise when countries apply their legislation at an international level to protect global interests. It is headed by Prof. dr. Cedric Ryngaert, professor of public international law at Utrecht University.

More information:

Mark Zoetekouw, PhD Candidate International and European Law
Tel: (+31) (0)30 253 7180
E-mail: m.zoetekouw@uu.nl