Miranda D, Webster W & Leleux C (2022) Governing police-public encounters mediated by the use of Body-Worn Cameras (BWC). 9th Biannual Surveillance and Society Conference - SSN 2022, Rotterdam, 01.06.2022-03.06.2022. https://www.eur.nl/en/eshcc/research/ssn-2022/conference-programme
Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) are often depicted as a technological solution to enhance transparent and accountable interactions between police and citizens, with police forces increasingly adopting this technology to capture their interactions with the public. This paper assesses the impacts and consequences of this technologically mediated interaction, and the differentiated governance mechanisms that are emerging around the use of this technology. The paper will provide a brief review of what is known about BWCs, with a focus on mechanisms for oversight and scrutiny in a British policing context. Based on a literature review and set of interviews with BWCs experts, it will also consider the management and use of these cameras in different policing scenarios (examples include armed policing, traffic accidents, stop and search, protests, investigation and domestic abuse). This typology of use highlights different deployment practices and different experiences of use, and importantly the emergence of differentiated governance and scrutiny mechanisms. The paper also considers future challenges for governance arising from the integration of BWC with other emerging technologies and surveillance tools (such as facial recognition and live streaming).
body-worn; cameras; surveillance; policing