Policing in the 2020s: 5 issues from a Delphi study

Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

Principal Researcher

Nic Pole

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

January 2017

Research Context

The study seeks to identify emerging issues that may have substantial effects on police policy and practice beyond the short term. The study is part of the College’s strategic foresight work, which uses futures methodologies to explore how key trends, emerging issues and significant events might shape the future operating environment for policing.

What will the research focus on?
The study identified 5 issues likely to have an impact on policing, particularly in relation to cyber-attacks and technology related security threats:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and big data 
  2. The internet of things 
  3. Social differentiation – leading to a decline in social cohesion 
  4. Ubiquitous encryption 
  5. Autonomous vehicles

Research Methodology

​The study adopted a Delphi methodology. Delphi is a popular method for eliciting and refining the opinions of a group.  It is a structured communication process that aims to establish a consensus. The group consisted of police officers, academics and foresight practitioners.

Interim reports and publications

A final report is due in January 2019.

Date due for completion

January 2019
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