Protecting public-facing professionals and their dependents online
UK police at a vibrant community event

3PO aims to better understand the challenges, risks and harms police officers and their families face online and to develop direct, sustainable solutions to protect this group from online harms, safeguard their physical and mental well-being and ultimately empower their full participation in the online domain. 

The project will fill the theoretical and application gaps in knowledge about protecting citizens online by focusing on police officers as public-facing professionals (i.e., citizens with professional roles in the public eye). The focus is on the impact of peoples' professional roles on their personal, private lives online.

The three main objectives of 3PO are to,

  • Build a solid understanding of the specific harms, risks and privacy needs of police officers and their dependants
  • Expand and enrich current conceptualisations of privacy, consent and visibility management towards contexts in which online presences are collectively managed/negotiated within family and organisational structures 
  • Co-create advanced tools, mechanisms and solutions that empower the secure participation of this group online

3PO brings together CENTRIC, as project lead, and Sheffield Hallam University with University College London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Edinburgh Napier University through the Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR) as well as six police forces and the Home Office as active partners.

3PO results will benefit societal groups outside police and law enforcement, as knowledge and products transfer to other public-facing professions faced with the same challenge such politicians, teachers, emergency services, NHS staff, journalists, amongst others. Hence, 3PO’s results and products will be relevant for a large number of groups crucial for societal functioning and resilience.

Funding Statement

EPSRC logo

This project has been supported through the UKRI Strategic Priority Fund as part of the wider Protecting Citizens Online programme and is part of the National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN) Network. ESPRC Grant Ref: EP/W032368/1

Further Information