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‘I’m glad that was on camera’: a case study of police officers’ perceptions of cameras

Sandhu, A (2017) '‘I’m glad that was on camera’: a case study of police officers’ perceptions of cameras.' Policing and Society. ISSN 1043-9463

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In the surveillance society, the police are increasingly monitored by a growing network of cameras. Contemporary studies have begun to pay attention to the new and highly visible reality that police officers occupy, and speculate about how this reality impacts police work. Attention is also given to how police officers, as the subjects experiencing this higher visibility, understand, and adapt to camera-packed environments, both of which are key questions in the ongoing process of revealing how the police, one of society’s key socio-legal institutions, are impacted by the emerging surveillance society. This article contributes to the study of police perceptions of cameras by reporting the findings of an exploratory qualitative research project entitled the Police on Camera study (POC). The POC study’s findings show that while participating police officers expectedly express resentment towards cameras and photographers, they more often express the opinion that conducting police work in view of cameras is beneficial as it enables the production of favourable video footage which defends police actions against criticism and complaints. Based on the POC study’s finding, this article argues that police officers’ response to cameras are not necessarily shaped by an effort to avoid being recorded as is sometimes argued, but by an effort to optimise the on-camera experience by producing footage which will discredit complaints and reinforce a favourable assessment of the police institution.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Surveillance, police, cameras, visibility
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 11:15
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:15

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