Photo of Prof Laurence Alison

Prof Laurence Alison BSc, MSc, PhD, C.PSychol

Chair in Forensic and Investigative Psychology Psychological Sciences


    Research Interest 1

    Critical incident decision making; decision inertia; simulation based learning.

    Research Grants
    • Big Hypotheses: A Fully Parallelised Bayesian Inference Solution
    • ‘The Birkenhead Drill’: An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses to a CBRN / MTFA Live Exercise.
    • Development and Utilisation of KIRAT and FIIP Tools.
    • Research, Development and Training in Evidence Based Policing.
    • Fighting International Internet Paedophilia – Phase Two.
    • Better Policing Collaborative: Police Knowledge Fund.
    • National centre for the study of critical incident decision making.
    • CENTREX Research Assistant.
    • Bayesian Analysis of Competing Cyber Hypotheses
    • Examination of Critical Incident Debriefs in Disaster Manage and High Profile Investigations
    • Multi agency responses to child protection and other critical incidents.
    • High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG): Intelligence Interviewing and Interrogation.
    • Critical incident research and investigative decision making
    • Deconstructing offender profiles.
    • Fighting International Internet Paedophilia (FIIP)
    Research Collaborations

    Detective Inspector Matt Long

    External: Kent Police

    This project focuses on risk assessment and investigation into use of abusive and indecent online images of children; in partnership with Kent Police under the umbrella of CEOP initiative (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) CEOP is part of U.K. policing dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children; it exists to track offenders who offend against children and bring them to justice. It works in partnership with local and international forces (for the current project consulting with Kent Police). CEOP develops intelligence on the offenders (thinking and behaviour); how children and young people behave and make use of the Internet; and how technology is progressing.
    This partnered project with Kent Police will eventually deliver a suspect prioritisation tool for police use in investigating sexual abuse of children on the internet. The work will assist in: i) prioritising the large volume of online abusive images of children, according to risk; ii) develop strategies and methods for investigating the prioritised offenders; and iii) developing training for other police forces and relevant agencies in use of the risk assessment tool. The tool will assist officers in targeting and bringing to justice quickest, the gravest offenders.

    HYDRA Operations

    External: Metropolitan Police Service

    Ongoing collaboration for organisational learning in two research strands: 1) simulation-based learning via HYDRA immersive systems and 2) development/refinement of 10kV debrief systems and debrief analysis of critical incidents, major incidents and/or criminal investigations.

    Tier Three Interview Training Group

    External: Merseyside Police

    Knowledge Exchange project on Tier 3 Suspect Interviewing Course for police officers. The course forms part of a structured professional development programme. Tier 3 is a mandatory accreditation for officers interviewing individuals suspected of involvement in serious criminal investigations (e.g., murder, terrorist acts). Academic input centres on psychology of effective interview techniques (e.g., personal interaction styles).

    Professor Kan Shi

    External: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

    Three-day workshop with Beijing academics in counterpart research group to cross-fertilise ideas and research findings on decision making in adverse environments and critical incident management.

    Dr. Majheed Khader

    External: Singapore Home Team Academy

    Knowledge Exchange collaboration between UoL and Singapore Home Team Academy: workshop on critical incident decision making for emrgency service responders.

    Dr. Jon Cole


    This was a project commissioned by the U.K. Home Office to prevent violent extremism. Along with two external collaborators (Dr. Ben Cole & Dr. Mark Kebbell) Dr. Jon Cole and I conducted a training needs analysis for public sector agencies in the awareness of radicalisation and countering violent extremism that might present risk of harm to the public.

    Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security

    External: Griffith University

    The newly established Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (with over $25 million) draws together world class scholars and industry partners to better understand a range of complex problems threatening the wellbeing and security of Australia.

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