Want to be a cyber cop? Tune in to the website for police recruitment

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The Independent Online

The Home Office has revealed a spot-the-criminal computer game as the latest weapon in its fight to recruit more police for the beat. Breaking up pub fights, chasing joy-riders, picking up drunks and being called to cases of domestic violence are all used as part of the computerised guide to becoming a police officer.

The internet game, which also includes a test of the ability to spot key clues and details, reminiscent of the observation round in the Seventies television series The Krypton Factor, is part of a new website launched this week to attract young people to police forces.

Dramatic, pounding music and sounds of police sirens blare out as would-be recruits are asked to identify key facts and descriptions from a series of grainy menacing black and white images, before answering questions about what they can remember. In a second "real-life challenges" game, surfers have to predict the responses to dilemmas on the beat.

The observation test game, developed in conjunction with serving police officers, starts with a picture of two men breaking into a car at night. The player has to move a torch "beam" to illuminate the picture.

A second test uses CCTV footage of a bag snatch, while a third gives players a few seconds to remember key facts about a pair of suspicious, leather-clad men walking under a railway arch.

The game, to be found at www.policecouldyou.co.uk,

asks: "You and a colleague are pursing a stolen vehicle containing three youths. The car is being driven recklessly and at high speed. They turn into a residential street where children are playing. What do you do – carry on chasing them, call for aerial assistance or pull back and hope they slow down?"

The website is part of the Home Office advertising campaign, featuring the boxer Lennox Lewis, aimed at increasing police recruitment.

Rhys Williams, creative director of the eMCSaatchi agency which developed the website, said: "The campaign is about creating a challenging view of being a police officer. The tests and the game are fun, but they are trying to give a flavour of the daily tasks you might face as an officer."

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