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Lecture 6

CRIM 3658 Lecture 6: Video Surveillance Lecture

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CRIM 3658
Anita Lam

Video Surveillance  Surveillance is broader than video surveillance  It will extend beyond the use of CCTV; it includes searchable databases PROLIFERATION OF VIDEO SURVEILLANCE AND CCTV ACROSS THE GLOBE  There is a growing use of CCTV in the global context  Video surveillance now deployed across most of world  However, some state rely more on CCTV than others which suggests that the deployment of CCTV surveillance is uneven  Example UK: heavily replied on CCTV- 1 camera for 14 people in 2003; by contrast, public street CCTV camera in Japan and India are not similar  When these technologies get diffused, there are several trends that characterizes the growth and diffusion of CCTV surveillance o Private to public sector:  Movement of surveillance from private (shopping malls, privately owned shops etc.) to public sector (transits, schools, govt buildings etc.)  In Canada, when we look at publically owned public street camera, they only make up a small proportion of the total operating camera in our cities o Accelerated growth of CCTV can be linked to urbanization  Camera are mostly located in heavily urbanized cities  Increasing anonymity and mobility of citizens  People tend to know each other less and thus camera or surveillance technologies tend to also be identify  Citizens today have the capacity to move across borders  Leads to decrease in previous forms of face to face knowledge and social control  We now live and work around people who are strangers  Thus CCTV are put to reduce the risks posed by these strangers- managing the risk associated with crime and terrorism  Often times, however, CCTV are put into place because we think that it has benefits of reducing the risk of crime  However, they are not based on empirical evidence  Studies show that surveillance has mix results and unpredictable effects  Issues of displacement  Types of crime- reduce some crimes and not others (property or vehicular crimes vs. sexual assault or violent person to person crime) o The effects of CCTV on camera can be quite variable and unpredictable o Video surveillance is only useful when it is used alongside other crime reduction strategies such as better lighting  Crime solving vs. crime prevention o Actual monitoring of cameras if often ineffective- if someone is being victimized, their victimization might not be immediately noticed because of the number of images that the operators may have to sift through (the chart on the slide) o Distance between CCTV control room and location of camera/crime- by the time that the operator notices the crime and has deployed another person, a police officer or a security guard, it is often too late  Surveillance has political appeal o Camera are installed because they have political appeal, it demonstrates to the public that something is actively being done about the problem of crime- symbolic representation FOUCAULT AND THE PANOPTICON  Our surveillance society today can best be exemplified by the Panopticon  Foucault discusses panopticon in his work discipline and punishment (in French it means surveillance and punishment)  According to Foucault, You need a norm in order to constitute individuals- constituting disciplined individuals- leads to normalization of individuals and bodies  The norm is basically the established standard of behaviour  The panopticon is the perfect disciplinary apparatus  If you are in the centre of the building, you can see everything around you, but the bodies being watched are not able to see you- there are many inmates but few guards (the few watch the many- that is the structure of visibility)  Power here is thus exercised through visibility- internalization of control and discipline  The inmates themselves never known when they are actually being watched at one moment  So they tend to discipline themselves all the time- they monitor their own behaviour in order to conform to the prison’s standard of conduct  Inmates internalizes the gaze and the idea that someone is always watching them and thus they will monitor their own behaviour and self-regulate and acquire self discipline  The power here doesn’t reside in person but in the spatial design  Power is anonymous- we are not sure who actually possesses power  It can thus be replicated in other institutions such as public street camera on the city streets  There are huge difference between the prison and the city, but the panoptic arrangement is quite exemplary in the cities as well  CCTV in cities also ensure normalization of bodies- power space and adheres to the same principles as of panopticon in prison  However, here we have issues with the bodies- gender, race, age, class, sex  In the city, CCTV may be used to discipline some more than the others  People react to surveillance in different ways depending on their social position  Rich vs. marginalized  Ex: gender and surveillance (Koskella) o Gendered structures of surveillance  Cameras are mostly found in the shopping centres, malls, etc  These are places where women are most likely to go to and thus mostly under surveillance  In contrast, those who operate the camera, makes these surveillance policies are mostly men o To be looked at is to be an object of gaze o Koskella argues that the eye behind the camera is primarily male o Camera embod
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