Dr Ben Colllier, University of Edinburgh

The infrastructures of digital life present societies and governments with sobering new arenas of harm and risk as well as transformative new mechanisms of control and governance.

Approaches initially developed in the Prevent programme – ‘strategic’ preventative campaigns to shape the flow of online information and alter the behaviour and cultures of communities seen as ‘risky’ by the state – have in recent years seen much wider adoption across law enforcement, in areas as diverse as gender-based violence, cybercrime, and public order policing.

Ben sets out ‘influence policing’ as an emerging mode of police practice in UK law enforcement, drawing on our empirical studies to sketch the shape and potential harms of this novel form of algorithmic police work.