Oxford Brookes Business School

Imaginative Scenario Planning for Law Enforcement Organisations

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Imaginative scenario

How can we anticipate and counter the diversity of forms in which security threats as terrorism, cybercrime, organised crime and financial crime present themselves in our future?

Based on their successful CREST (Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats) research project conducted with Dutch and UK law enforcement agencies, Professor Math Noortmann (Coventry University), Professor Juliette Koning (Oxford Brookes University), Dr Joost Vervoort and Dr Ingrid Hoofd (both Utrecht University, the Netherlands), have developed a research report as well as a step by step toolkit to help engage with these questions.

The problem with prediction
There are inherent problems that arise from using prediction as a strategy for determining how to mitigate future threats. Whilst success may be found predicting trends on a short-term basis, mid and long-term events are contingent on many interacting factors and prediction therefore becomes unreliable.

Alternative: scenario planning
Scenario planning offers an alternative solution to this issue. The usefulness of the technique is not dependent on the likelihood of the scenarios coming true, but the opportunity for security and law enforcement organisations to set flexible strategies to deal with them. It is the development of a flexible response that marks the success of this technique.

A toolkit and research report

The toolkit and an underlying report have been produced from this ‘Imaginative Scenario Planning for Law Enforcement Organisations‘ project to assist security and law enforcement officers in becoming familiar with scenario planning techniques.

The toolkit and research report can be accessed here >>