Main Article Content
How do police respond to the presence of cameras and photographers? Many speculative theories have been proposed offering mixed and sometimes contradictory answers to this question. Some theories propose that cameras will deter police misconduct, others suggest that cameras might improve police accountability, others suggest that police might respond to cameras by engaging in a risk-averse style of policing. Unfortunately, little empirical data is available to assess these theories. Drawing on data from a participant-observation research study conducted in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, this paper helps fill this gap in research and argues that police might be learning to adapt to cameras by engaging in what I call camera-friendly policing. This style of policing involves efforts to control how the police are perceived by photographers, and how they will be perceived by viewers of any recorded footage. In this paper, I outline the basic elements of the police’s camera-friendly tactics, and discuss the implications of these tactics for contemporary understandings of police visibility.
Surveillance & Society uses a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
- The author. The author licenses the article to the Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) for inclusion in Surveillance & Society (S&S), right of first publication. The copyright to the article remains with the author and any subsequent commercial reuse must be agreed by both parties.
- Non-commercial Users. SSN authorises all persons to use material published in S&S in any manner that is not primarily intended for or directed to commerical advantage or private monetary compensation, also provided that it is not modified and retains all attribution notices.
- Commercial Users. SSN retains the right to benefit from commerical reuse, in each specific case subject to the agreement of the author, and payment to SSN of a standard per-page fee (set by a vote of the Network and Editorial Board) by the Commercial User.
- Surveillance & Society supports open access archives and the free distribution of the results of academic work. Authors are encouraged to place copies of the final published version of their article in their university and / or other open access archives. We only ask that you make sure to include a link to the original published version on the Surveillance & Society website.