Project overview

3PO is a 3-year project funded by UKRI (EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/W032368/1) under the Strategic Priorities Fund. It is part of the REPHRAIN network, which is a Research Centre of Excellence focused on the protection of citizens online. In this context, 3PO takes the unusual and pioneering step to re-focus the theme of protecting citizens online to the law enforcement domain.

It combines five renowned universities and related research centres (CENTRIC/Sheffield Hallam University, University College London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Edinburgh Napier University/SIPR) with police forces and Home Office as active partners.

Aims & objectives

The 3PO project aims to fill the theoretical and application gaps in knowledge about the protection of citizens online by focusing on police officers as public-facing professionals (i.e., citizens with professional roles that are conducted under the public’s eye, short: LPFPs). The focus is on the impact of peoples' professional roles for their personal, private lives online.

Our ambition is to:

  1. Create in-depth, inductively developed models about the nature, drivers, mechanisms and consequences of online risks and harms for LPFPs and their dependents that take account the complexity of profession-specific obligations (e.g., police professional standards) that can create ‘extreme context collapse’ between professional and private spheres
  2. Create technical and non-technical risk assessment and protection mechanisms that empower LPFPs and their dependents to participate fully in the digital economy and online life, including training materials and policy recommendations
  3. Create resources for researchers and future research efforts to guide further investigations into PFP-specific contexts beyond policing contexts
  4. Establish a sustained community of practice between academia, government, industry, third sector organisations for continuing knowledge exchange and continued actions to address LPFP challenges beyond the end of the project
  5. Provide the launch pad for early-career researchers to build excellent academic CVs through opportunities within 3PO’s high-level multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder consortium
  6. Create societal awareness for challenges and threats of police personnel and their dependents as citizens online by increasing public understanding and sensitivity, as well as potential behavioural changes through awareness campaigns, broad result dissemination and engagement activities