Police and government use online ‘influence’ tactics to tackle crime in the UK

Man in background sits at table in cafe with laptop and mug. Silhouetted against window onto street.

New research has found that influencing techniques often used by marketers and advertisers are being used by law enforcement and government agencies in the UK for crime prevention.

Researchers found that digital platforms, paid targeted advertising, and social media influencers are being used by police and government to target and influence the public for crime prevention, health and social policy.

The research was carried out by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR). Dr Ben Collier of the Research Training Centre was one of the report’s co-authors.

The findings are prompting calls for more scrutiny and accountability as this practice continues to grow.

Read the full article on the School of Social and Political Science website.


Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash


The Research Training Centre applies expertise in a diverse set of social science methods, through teaching and research. The Centre provides new insights to the key challenges in society.

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