Imaginative Scenario Planning for Law Enforcement Organisations

This research project investigates scenario planning for future security threats by engaging with law organisations in the Netherlands and the UK.

Scenario planning is a tool for organisations to anticipate unpredictable futures. For this, organisations need to (1) imagine a variety of possible futures, (2) undertake a holistic analysis of those futures, and (3) strategically plan for the long term. Future scenario planning is not widely practiced in law enforcement organisations, since they traditionally focus on short term operational and tactical planning.

The project aims to:

  1. Critically review existing scenario planning theories and practices, and operationalise the concept for application to law enforcement organisations.
  2. Identify the potential and competence for effective scenario planning practices in law enforcement organisations.
  3. Develop an imaginative, creative and holistic approach to future scenarios in law enforcement organisations.
  4. Improve the capability to envisage otherwise unimagined scenarios in the fields of security and law enforcement.

To address these aims, the project will:

  1. Investigate the policies and practices of two national law enforcement organisations: the Dutch National Unit and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).
  2. Collect new data through creative focus groups.
  3. Organise workshops to foster the co-production of new insights and knowledge.
  4. Develop a specific scenario planning toolkit that encourages imagination, creativity and holistic thinking in law enforcement organisations.


Tools for planning uncertain futures

CREST have today published a research report and toolkit to help security and law enforcement become familiar with scenario planning techniques. How can we...Read More »

Imaginative Scenario Planning Toolkit

Imaginative Scenario Planning ToolkitA toolkit for practising with uncertain security futures. How can we anticipate and counter the diversity of forms in which such abstract and broad...Read More »

Imaginative Scenario Planning Report

Imaginative Scenario Planning ReportA report on mitigating future threats via scenario planning. How can we anticipate and counter the diversity of forms in which such abstract and...Read More »

Principal Investigator

Professor Math Noortmann
Professor Juliette Koning


Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
Oxford Brookes University
Utrecht University (Netherlands)