Headlines: March 28th, 2000

The Government’s crime forecasters have been looking at whether ICT is likely to be a friend or foe in the fight against crime.The Foresight Crime Prevention Panel, which brings together experts from business, industry, academia and the public sector, aims to stimulate thinking about the future of crime and its prevention in a new consultation paper.

Among the questions asked in the consultation document are: will there have to be a trade off between personal privacy and security? Will proof of identity become essential for daily life – and how can such proof be made secure and acceptable? How can new crime prevention technologies be made acceptable to the public?

The paper anticipates a world driven increasingly by advances in information and communications technology, a world where crime transcends national borders. It foresees that knowledge and electronic services will become direct targets for crime.

It also foresees social trends towards individualism which could, if left unchecked, lead to social exclusion for those who do not have access to technology.

Consultation runs until 14 July 2000. The Panel aims to publish its report in November.

The Crime Prevention Panel’s Consultation paper ‘Just around the Corner’ (URN 00/674) will be available electronically at http://www.foresight.gov.uk