Shorter 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!