Information on the move: the use of mobile information systems by UK police forces

D K Allen, T D Wilson, A W T Norman, Charles Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Introduction. Gives an account of research carried out in UK police forces relating to the introduction of information technologies and their consequent effect on information transfer within the forces. Method. The work is derived from a number of investigations, all of which involved observation and interviewing of management level and operational police officers. Some data are also drawn from a national survey of forces. Analysis. The conceptual framework of activity theory is employed in the analysis of the data. Results. The results are represented as 'case studies': not of individual forces, but of different policing activities. The elements of activity theory are shown to account effectively for the actions and associated information flows of policing activities. Conclusion. From a theoretical perspective, activity theory has proved to be a useful tool, both for the definition of problem areas and for the analysis of data. Policing activities are shown to vary in their complexity, with consequences for the complexity of information transfer and use.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


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