Global Horizon Scan

Forecasting the future of crime

Preparing for the future is essential for any organization, but especially so for law enforcement where proactive policing strategies are vital to facing a range of emerging crime challenges. To develop well-informed, forward-looking plans, law enforcement must use trusted methodologies which examine not only future threats but also new opportunities, to better understand their implications for policing.

INTERPOL has developed the first law enforcement-focused global horizon scan to help police interpret key trends which have the potential to either disrupt or assist their activities. The scan will examine and evaluate the future global landscape through the lens of six key areas – crime, organization, society, environment, economy and technology.

Development process

  • Existing open-source horizon scans produced by international think-tanks and other organizations were collected;
  • The existing research was interpreted to identify key trends and phenomena, based on the key areas;
  • The identified trends and phenomena were supported and endorsed during various policing forums, such as our annual strategic event called ‘STRATalks’;
  • INTERPOL and other experts provided analysis of the implications of these trends and phenomena for policing, based on INTERPOL’s priority crime programmes: counter-terrorism, cybercrime, and organized and emerging crime.


  • Introduce police worldwide to the concept of horizon scanning, as well as other future and foresight methodologies;
  • Identify the key trends and phenomena which are likely to affect the future of law enforcement;
  • Anticipate when and in what form these impacts might occur;
  • Prioritize and localize the identified trends and their related implications, and create different products to share these outcomes with our member countries (such as scanning tools, trend cards, a futures game);
  • Build a library of open source data and horizon scans conducted in all regions to serve as a global knowledge base.

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