CCTV studies

February 20, 2008 at 2:00 am 1 comment

pict0073_1.jpgShorter posts this week as I’m running a workshop on leadership. But I’ll be eager to get my teeth into the special issue of Surveillance and Society on “The Politics of CCTV in Europe and Beyond”. What’s interesting I think are some of the articles looking at the social aspects of CCTV. The whole argument for CCTV is based on conflictual social relationships ie deviants in society threaten the law-abiding innocent. The presence of CCTV creates or shapes a culture into two populations – those lawfully occupying public space and those unlawfully occupying it. The issue has articles that cover all aspects of this including a great article about CCTV in Lyons, France, which explores whether CCTV is used as a form of xenophobia (targeting black African youths).

Particularly fascinating to me was the Editorial on the long history of the relationship between the photographic image and crime control. So, for example, the first commercially viable photographic technique was patented in Paris in 1839 and, by the 1840s, its potential for identifying and documenting the criminal classes was already recognised. Similarly, with the early days of TV, a UK police superintendent suggested the monitoring and analysis of live TV images of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding.

For those of us interested in surveillance, a great read with this special issue!


Entry filed under: CCTV, Civil liberties, Privacy, Surveillance society, Useful resources.

Jesus 2.0 Is there a happy side to surveillance?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. controlware  |  November 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Disagree with your point that CCTV is all about crime. Yes it is a tool that can be used to help reduce crime and provide images of suspects for distribution to the general public but more and more it is being installed as a reaction to the blame claim culture that is becoming more prevalent. CCTV in this way can be used to absolve an employer of blame when accidents occur demonstrating best practice in health and safety.


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