Policing's new visibility



Publication Details

A. Goldsmith, 'Policing's new visibility' (2010) 50 (5) British Journal of Criminology 914-934.


This paper applies the concept of ‘new visibility’ (Thompson 2005) to recent developments around policing, particularly the prevalence of mobile phone cameras in the wider community and the capacity via video-sharing platforms such as YouTube, and social networking sites like Facebook, to share images of apparent police misconduct with mass audiences and to mobilize groups into taking action of some kind. Two case studies, the Ian Tomlinson case in London in April 2009 and the Robert Dziekanski case in Vancouver in October 2007, are used to illustrate the unprecedented power of this new capability and the challenges that it poses for police image management. The implications for police legitimacy and accountability of these developments are explored.

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