A computer game created recently by researchers at Abertay University could end up as a major factor in selecting and training Scotland's firearms officers.
Instead of ranking the players based on how well they shoot their enemies, the new game calculates its score based on the player's choice to shoot, not to shoot or to fire a warning shot. In the game, the player approaches different people doing different actions in different lighting conditions; the player then is required to read the subject's body language and assess the situation before deciding to shoot or not to shoot.
The police have been involved in developing the scenario and different variables, such as lighting.
"That character itself has its own artificial intelligence", said Dr James Bown. "So it can respond to voice commands, it can respond to gunfire if you shoot with the intention to miss and that response can be immediate surrender, it can be running away, or if they are carrying a weapon - shooting back."
"The animation is very important, that we get as realistic as possible movements associated with the individual turning round because that's where the signals are going to be as to whether to shoot or not."
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) has said such technology would have to be assessed by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) before Acpos could consider it for training use.