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Durham University

Research & business

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Police Science in digital environments

A research project of the Department of Geography.


A research project funded by Greece's Research Centre for the Humanities.

Giorgos Mattes (Department of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Athens) and Antonis Vradis (Department of Geography, Durham University).

Please contact Giorgos Mattes with any queries.


The main purpose of our research is the practicalities of valuation, assessment, governance and accountability in digital environments, broadly based on science and technology studies, geography and public policy. ‘Big data’, ‘data mining’, ‘crime analysis’, ‘geographic profiling’, ‘data visualization’, ‘crime mapping’, ‘predictive analytics’: the significance of these techniques lies in the way they frame technology. They present technology itself as neutral and unproblematic. At the same time we are interested in history and historiography of Hellenic Police (Gendarmerie and Urban Police): the everyday life, culture and practice of policemen, the institutional structure through STS prism, the relocation of materialities’ significance, the assemblages of technology and actants in practice etc.


The project will be conducted with the help of a mix of qualitative research methodology.In the same manner, the work for this project will encompass diverse methods. We will involve a case study research approach and will refer to respective methods of conducting such research: first, the work will be desk-based, including:

a) Reading the official police magazines (Gendarmerie Journal, Urban Police Journal, Hellenic Police Journal, Police Review), news media (print media, broadcast news), General State Archives, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, unclassed archives in police stations in Athens and Thessaloniki, ex-servicemen folders in staff service etc.

a) becoming familiar with predictive STATUS program that attempt to predict the location of future crimes and results of it have been used in Swedish police operations the last six years (“Superdatorn Räknar Ut När Brott Kan Ske” 2014)

Second, conduct fieldwork in Malmö or areas that have been applied the above systems and related to the first point, the work will involve qualitative research methods to interpret the findings, applying interpretive and narrative analysis as the main tools. In what follows, using my field data, I draw out similarities and differences based on comparison and describe the emergence of rationalities based on police-used information technology.

Big Data: from inner city of Athens to the greek borders

In affiliation of the project to the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens the research will branch out into the study of Big Data within the scope of policing from inner city of Athens to the greek borders.

Please contact Giorgos Mattes with any queries.



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