Undercover policing/Surveillance & Accountability

  • Created by: amyoakey
  • Created on: 31-12-19 23:12

Surveillance Technologies


  • All organisations that are involved in the production of social control are to some extent dependent upon information from those connected to the activities over which control is being sought. (Innes, 2000)
  • Marx (1988) argued that used with great care, police surveillance practices may be a necessary evil. 
  • "He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he becomes the principle of his own subjection" (Focault, 1977)
  • CCTV has evidential benefits - first used as admissible evidence in UK court in 1982. Research on CCTV crime reduction impact not shed much light on mechanisms through which it is effective (Phillips, 1999)
  • Goold (2003), CCTV forced officers to be 'more careful' when out on the street so that police actions are not misinterpreted by external scrutiny. 
  • Overt Surveillance - Evidence gathering teams - Two or more police officers who are deployed by UK police forces to gather intelligence on the ground and in some circumstances, to disrupt activists and deter anti-social behaviour. They use cameras, camcorders and audio recorders to conduct overt surveillance on the public. 
  • Covert Surveillance - Marx (1988) - 'in a democratic society, it will never be possible to be too enthusiastic about undercover operations' (p.206) 
  • Marx (1988) 'surveillance creep'. 
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