CRIMINOLOGY AND THE SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY. Department of Social Sciences Dr Faye Cosgrove

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1 CRIMINOLOGY AND THE SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY Department of Social Sciences Dr Faye Cosgrove

2 Criminology at the University of Programme Leader: Dr. Nicola Ballantyne Sunderland (gendered violence, the probation service, offender management in the CJS) Ms Kate Tudor Dr Donna Peacock Dr. Faye Cosgrove Dr. Stephen Macdonald Dr. Wendy Podd (white-collar crime, theoretical criminology) (computer hacking and law, surveillance, research methods) (policing, police cultures, youth justice and youth criminology) (learning disabilities, mental health, research methods) (youth policy and state intervention, social problems)

3 Defining surveillance the process of watching and supervising individuals and populations (Norris and Armstrong, 1999) the multiple and often complex social and technological practices of information gathering for the purposes of control, organization, regulation or influence. Surveillance typically takes one of following forms: Natural Surveillance (overlooking the public in their everyday lives, often maximised by environmental design) Organised Surveillance (conducted by people, e.g. police or security) Mechanical Surveillance (provided by electronic or mechanical devices)

4 Everyday surveillance! Take a few moments to consider the different ways in which your everyday life is monitored. What about your journey into college today? Is there a trail of your movements?

5 The Many Faces of Surveillance

6 Surveillance has spilled out of its old nation-state containers to become a feature of everyday life, at work, at home, at play and on the move (Lyon, 2003: 13) Growth of forms of electronic surveillance or information and communication technologies (ICTs) Data mining and data profiling of consumption Gathering and sharing economic and social data from different sources, used to identify high and low risk groups of deviant behaviour

7 Why is surveillance so central to criminology? We are dependent on surveillance to provide knowledge about crime limited reach of the police! Surveillance is a principle means of responding to illegal or socially harmful behaviour and is a key aspect of fighting crime Information gained: Shapes how we understand crime Informs how society is policed Contributes in preventing and detecting crime Shapes how we categorise (and regulate) the population

8 Expansion Surveillance powers of the State are no longer only directed at particular individuals deemed to be a risk or undeserving of trust but to everyone!!! everyone is a potential suspect, becoming self regulatory. surveillance that was once reserved for the suspect or deviant has become extended to cover the majority of the population. (Loftus and Goold, 2012; 276)

9 Surveillance is often justified on the basis that the more informed we are, the better protected we are! (Coleman and McCahill, 2011) Do you agree? Do you think the expansion of surveillance is a good or a bad thing?

10 The dark side of surveillance Diverse applications by the state and private agencies often without our knowledge, without consent, inability to opt- out! Increased regulation and threat to privacy due to the diversification and expansion of crime Data is gathered and shared across agencies focusing on problem populations, specifically the economically and socially excluded poor (Loftus and O Neill, 2013) Professional power and knowledge has been strengthened by the creation of anti-social behaviour - stigmatised sections of the working class, justified further intrusion into people s lives (Brown, 2004) Pre-crime world where surveillance, data collection and predicting future threats are prioritised (Zedner, 2009).

11 THE RISE OF CCTV

12 CCTV in Britain Defined as any form of monitoring system that uses video cameras as a means of surveillance (Goold, 2004). Sustained growth of CCTV since the early 1990s as a solution to rising crime Estimates of the volume of CCTV in Britain have ranged from 1.85 million (Reeve, 2011) to 5.9 million (2013) most watched in the world! Most public CCTV is owned by a local authority but operated by the private sector Wide ranging uses including crime prevention, road safety (ANPR), crime detection and investigation, and tackling fear of crime.

13 Is CCTV effective in tackling crime? CCTV grew despite limited available evidence of its effectiveness on crime and disorder (Farrington and Welsh, 2002) Variation between schemes - no guidance on where, how it should be implemented or how it could tackle problems wasn t matched to local needs Limited in identifying crime problems or informing police deployment in routine duties but is an important tool in policing football matches and public order incidents. Inconsistent and contradictory findings from evaluative research - difficult to obtain a true picture of the deterrent effect of CCTV schemes (Tilley, 1998) Concerns around displacement areas, crimes, times of day, targets (Barr and Pease, 1990) Most effective when targeted at vehicle crimes, little effect on violent or acquisitive offences (Welsh and Farrington, 2009) CCTV is most effective as a instrument of policing rather than crime prevention i.e. when used to create rapid responses and to support prosecutions

14 How do you personally feel about being watched by CCTV? Is intrusion justified on the basis of protection and crime prevention? What limits should be imposed?

15 What s the problem? CCTV offers a range of benefits but if covertly and excessively used and insufficiently regulated, it can: Foster a climate of suspicion and undermine trust Unnecessarily intrude into our private lives Lead to discriminatory decisions and consequences for those targeted and monitored (Information Commissioner s Office, 2006) Loose definition of dangerous places (e.g. areas with potential to encourage crime) to justify the positioning of CCTV

16 The (Lack of) Regulation of CCTV The growth of surveillance (and CCTV) has provoked concerns from civil liberties groups due to the threat posed to basic freedoms The law has been slow to keep pace with its growth Data Protection Act 1998The RIPA Act 2001 limits the organisations who are able to access data No legal limit on how long images can be stored! (police storage ranges from 1-16 months) Anyone can install a CCTV system providing it is in accordance with the ECHR and the DPA 1998 BUT Only public CCTV needs to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office. Currently no regulation of CCTV in private residences upsurge in use and of complaints In 2012, a regulatory Code of Practice and a Surveillance Commissioner were introduced BUT The code has limited breadth and is non-enforceable, and the Commissioner s role is to encourage compliance not to inspect, enforce or investigate complaints

17 An audit by Big Brother Watch (2012) estimates there are close to 50,000 CCTV cameras across secondary schools and academies in Britain monitoring nearly 2 million pupils 90% of schools have CCTV cameras 10% of schools have cameras in changing rooms and bathrooms What do you feel about expanding use of CCTV in secondary schools and academies? Does they offer protection or is it just a quick fix?

18 Conclusion Where do we go from here? Police continue to rely on CCTV as a method of prevention and detection Surveillance is central to our daily lives little resistance due to its symbolic function and political marketing as a solution to crime Central significance of the protection of civil liberties due to its diverse use, increasing contexts in which we are being watched and growing technological capabilities Efforts to improve public confidence only go some way in satisfying public demand for greater transparency regarding its operation and management of data Raised awareness due to the work of civil liberties groups and whistleblowers is placing increased pressure on the government for more robust regulation and legal protection

19 Thank you Any questions? Any questions?

20 Useful resources Big Brother Watch (2012) Class of Available at: html Police Foundation (2014) CCTV: The Briefing. Available at: Information Commissioner s Office, 2006) A report on the surveillance society. Available at: ction/practical_application/surveillance_society_full_report_2006.pdf

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