This study of how video surveillance operations affect law enforcement decision-making found that organizational culture, CCTV operator characteristics, and land usage of target areas may foster differential surveillance behavior.
This study explores police decision-making in the context of proactive video surveillance operations. Findings suggest that organizational culture, CCTV operator characteristics, and land usage of target areas may foster differential surveillance behavior across CCTV operators. As remote strategies for policing continue to expand internationally, the identification of factors that impact discretionary practices is critical. Research on police discretion indicates a host of legal and extra-legal factors can impact officer decision making. The emergence of video surveillance technologies has made certain police interactions with the public more remote in nature. Decisions to enforce the law, consequently, now commonly begin outside of the context of face-to-face police/citizen interactions. Data in this study were generated from a systematic social observation of CCTV operator activity during the Newark CCTV Directed Patrol Experiment. Regression models tested how covariates affect the duration of CCTV operator targeted surveillances and CCTV operator decisions to report incidents providing reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause for a police response. A range of model covariates significantly influenced CCTV operator decision making, inclusive of surveillance targets identified as prior suspects, the CCTV site being within a commercial area, visible obstructions impeding camera view, CCTV operator rank, and CCTV operator gender. (Published Abstract Provided)
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