Virtual reality training for first responders

First responders have to make a great number of difficult decisions in a crisis situation. Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel must overpower any perpetrators and possible accomplices, provide medical aid to victims and calm down spectators. In addition, they must keep their own emotions under control.

The virtual simulation of crisis situations could help first responders to learn to combine their emotions and their tasks. Criminologist Charlotte Gerritsen of the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) explores in which way a virtual training can be successful.

(This Factsheet is only available in Dutch.)

dr. mr. Charlotte Gerritsen

About dr. mr. Charlotte Gerritsen

Charlotte Gerritsen studied Law and Criminology at the VU University Amsterdam. After her graduation, she started working as a PhD student at the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Sciences at the same university. In her doctoral research (completed in 2010), she has focused on the possibilities of using techniques of Artificial Intelligence in the field of criminology. She is currently a researcher at the NSCR and working on two interdisciplinary projects.

Within the Simulation-based Training and Resilience in Emergencies and Stressful Situations (STRESS) project focuses on virtual aggression training. Professionals with public duties are regularly confronted with verbal aggressive behaviour. Think of those who threaten the conductor for not having to pay for public transport, or start swearing because they get a parking ticket. Such confrontations with verbal aggression can lead to psychological problems and impaired functioning in employees. To train these professionals with good aggression to go and ensure that situations do not escalate, the NSCR is working with the University on the STRESS project. This project developed a virtual training for employees of the public transport company (GVB) and the Police Academy. The main learning objective of the training is to recognize different types of aggression and select the matching procedure.

The Simulation-Based Prediction and Analysis of Collective Emotional States (SPACES) project focuses on predicting undesirable behaviour (such as aggression) in big crowds. Through simulation techniques it is possible to predict the spread of emotions about a group of people. The simulation model of the input is formed based on text analysis of messages posted on social media. By analysing these messages at runtime it is possible to determine emotion in the crowd, linking it to predict and the development of the emotion of the group.

Charlotte is a member of the Criminal Events Cluster and the Computational Criminology Cluster.

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Andre, Krouwel; Yordan, Kutiyski; van Prooijen, J W; Johan, Martinsson; Elias, Markstedt

Does extreme political ideology predict conspiracy beliefs, economic evaluations and political trust? Evidence from Sweden Journal Article

Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 5 (2), pp. 435-462, 2017, ISSN: 2195-3325.

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