West Yorkshire Police is leading the way in a £500,000 worldwide research project to create a groundbreaking communications device for use in major disasters.

The specialist smart phone app would be used by members of the public to give vital information to the police to help them deal with incidents such as terrorist attacks and floods.

West Yorkshire is the only UK police force to be involved in the three-year research programme, building on previous international research projects. An EU grant of more than £500,000 is to fund the project. West Yorkshire Police is the first to co-ordinate the delivery of a European Commission security research project on such a scale. West Yorkshire Chief Constable Mark Gilmore (pictured) said: “Social media has revolutionised the way people communicate.

“The project is focused on developing a product that will benefit communities and emergency services worldwide.”