The Other Side of “Big Brother”: CCTV Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering by Private Police

The Other Side of “Big Brother”: CCTV Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering by Private Police

David Aspland (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2011040103
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Abstract

A significant shift has occurred in the nature of policing over the past 30 to 40 years across jurisdictions and contexts. The paradigm of policing as a purely government function is under challenge. Policing is becoming more “pluralised” with a range of actors, both public and private. This shift has significant social implications for the general public, together with the public and private organisations that provide policing services. These implications are discussed and highlighted through the use of information technology by private police in two areas—CCTV surveillance and intelligence gathering. This case discusses this shift between public and private sectors in policing. The situation is more complex than a simple public/private divide and plays host to a range of interactions that bring many actors into contact, competition, and alliance in networks and assemblages. Most research and regulation remains focused on public policing even though, numerically, private policing is now a major provider of policing services in an increasingly fragmented, pluralized, and commodified market. This case considers the regulation of private policing as it exists in the Australian context and how it applies to the use of information technology, together with issues for human rights, especially privacy.

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