Surveillance Technology And Monitoring Criminology Essay

'Post 9/11, it seems many people are content to accept increased monitoring, security and incursions to their private lives to support what is sold as enhanced safeguards to specific and national security. Yet, there are lurking problems in such tacit popularity. ' Critically analyse with illustrations, contrasting different criminological viewpoints in your answer.

Surveillance technology and monitoring has been increasing, especially in the wake of 9/11, nonetheless it has two faces, on the main one hand providing safety and security to protect the general public and aiding countrywide security, but on the other hands it provides an intrusive disturbance into people's private lives and it can curtail rights, creating a division within society. There's been a change in criminological ideologies and the way that criminal offense is dealt with. We now live in what is called a 'security world. ' In Discipline and Punish, Foucault composed about the brutal system of punishment, which centered on the infliction of pain on your body that existed in the 1700s, which was changed by the jail, eighty years later. This is seen as an efficient way of punishing as it is based on the 'technology of vitality'. Foucault referred to this as 'willpower' centered around monitoring, which runs on the variety of delicate techniques to control and take care of the offender in ever more finely graded ways. Foucault used Bentham's panopticon jail design as a metaphor, to spell it out the role that monitoring played inside the prison. The circular prison design, having a central guard's tower that a guard can easily see into every single jail cell while themselves left over concealed, separates out the prisoners, thus assisting control order in the jail, but also produces knowledge and procedures associated with the prisoners through facilitating research of them as individuals. It had been thought that constant presence would bring about a sense of vulnerability in the prisoners, which, subsequently, would lead them to control themselves and gradually the exercise of vitality on the inmate should become needless as they exercise self discipline.

A modern example is provided by Shearing and Stenning, in relation to control within Disney World, that they termed 'instrumental self-discipline'. The control buildings and activities have other functions that happen to be highlighted so that the control function is overshadowed. For instance, employees wish guests a happy day and a great time as soon as they appear as well as preserving order, so the control and security is unnoticed but its results are ever before present. Potential trouble is anticipated and avoided by the monitoring of omnipresent employees who discover and rectify the slightest deviation. As a result the control becomes consensual, effected with the willing co-operation if those being controlled, which allows coercion to be reduced to a minimum, much like Foucault's explanation of Bentham's panopticon. It is an extraordinarily effective form of control where people conform due to the pleasures of consuming the products that corporate power has to offer. Monitoring is pervasive and it is not in the form of the 'Big Brother' talk about, it is described by private specialists made to further the eye of the Disney Corporation than a moral discipline which styles and sustains a specific order. Within Disney World the control is inlayed, preventative, simple and co-operative and requires no understanding of the individual, therefore it is not intrusive or invading people's personal privacy as they continue to enjoy the time put in at Disney World, without realising they are subject to control.

Since the 1970s concern with crime has come to be seen as a problem quite distinctive from actual criminal offense and victimization, and distinctive plans have been developed that try to reduce fear levels, rather than to reduce criminal offenses. Foucault was worried about knowledge-production, which is now more readily available and more easily accessible through reports on the tv and the internet. It has given go up to an 'information modern culture, ' which resulted in a rise of dread but also prior and exact predictions of current and future unlawful behavior and methods to be able to safeguard against them as crime has been re-dramatised in the mass media. Media may construct groupings who are feared and viewed as outsiders e. g. paedophiles and terrorists and not only does indeed their exclusion increase their insecurity but also everybody else seems more insecure as a result of risk they have been told these organizations pose. The rest of the population needs to be shielded from these 'dangerous' people who should be manipulated by reasonably strong authoritarian State action. This is one way and why monitoring is sold to consumers by governments and commercial organisations as "benign" and in society' best interest which is why there's a lack of level of resistance to and largely complacent acceptance of, surveillance systems by modern culture generally.

During the twentieth-century there was a move from normalising specific offenders (post criminal offenses) to pre-crime management by minimizing opportunities of risks posed by genuine and would-be offenders. This was represented in Feeley and Simon's 'New Penology, ' which concerned 'actuarialism' and anticipating the future and assessed risks to prevent offense. A variety of risk calculation techniques that underpin crime control regulations which seek to identify and manage groups of people relating with their assorted levels of dangerousness were developed. Within the idea of 'managerialism, ' developed a practice of targeting resources (on offense 'hot-spots', career criminals, repeat victims, and high risk offenders); gate-keeping to exclude trivial or low-risk instances (except where they are regarded to be associated with more serious general public security issues); and a generalised cost-consciousness in the allocation of unlawful justice resources. This was seen as economic, effective and effective within the public sector, where strategies were employed by police organisations including the increased use of monitoring, proactive targeting of men and women and places, and the climb of 'problem-oriented policing' and 'intelligence-led policing, ' that was prominent with the application of scarce resources for the worse risks.

A modern example of this is actually the air port security system, which now uses biometric sensors to obtain various measurements of biological features unique to each individual, such as iris design, fingerprint or handprint, and contrasting this data to recently documented data of the same enter a repository. These screening process techniques are then used to identify typical offender characteristics, where it is important to keep security and flag-up certain passengers as being 'high risk' predicated on simple calculations. Travellers rating above a certain threshold can be researched, questioned or looked into further, or discretely put under monitoring within the airport terminal. Another example includes the use of automatic quantity plate recognition (ANPR), which functions by scanning transferring vehicle enrollment plates and checking them against various relevant digitised directories, to ensure that the vehicle has insurance and to check any record irregularity with the driver. This form of surveillance is more intrusive than foot-traffic by closed-circuit television set (CCTV) that normally leaves those detected anonymous.

Critics of such risk checklists declare that this may lead to communal sorting, which might involve stereotypes of contest, religious beliefs, nationality and gender, for example, to be aggregated to determine "target markets" and "risky populations", which can have far reaching effect on life chances, and of public exclusion and discrimination. Maybe it's argued that the aforementioned are only within poorly investigated and implemented screening process systems, and this properly explored, evidence-based screening systems that contain been properly examined and modified as necessary are a good additional tool. However, the international airport security system relates back to Bentham's Panopticon as individuals are being viewed but have no idea the amount to which they are being observed, if at all, but may change their behavior nevertheless. This disciplinary surveillance manifests in all areas of social life, including health insurance and remedies, education, the armed forces and factories. Advanced security and security technologies may help to curtail thoughts of insecurity amidst the public however the degree of disturbance should reflect the amount of the 'risk' or dangerousness that the surveillance is monitoring and trying to avoid. This intrusion may seem to be to be justified within international airport security due to recent hazards associated with terrorism, importing and exporting of illegitimate drugs and illegal immigration. Protecting the public is just about the dominant theme of penal insurance policy.

Deleuze details to electric tagging of offenders - rather than being detained in a prison, thus today's contemporary society is able to punish and control whilst 'establishing free'. Today, many offenders being electronically watched aren't in simple fact offenders whom a court docket has so sentenced, but are actually prisoners who early on conditional release using their medium-term prison sentences who be checked at home for the rest of the time that they might have been in prison. Traffic monitoring tags, like electric access cards, can allow/disallow or alert against entry to a particular zone or place, possibly at a particular time or day. The 'first generation' of digital tags did not have any capacity for 'checking' a person tagged offender's activity. In recent years, a 'second technology' of digital tags, look set to supersede and replace the earlier era tags. The Gps device technology permits the tag to identify its exact physical position, as the mobile cellphone technology allows the label to relay this positional data back to a monitoring centre. Tags and key credit cards leave just a little digital record within an archive each time they are used that can be used in an effort to reconstruct events should something be fallible. Tags can 'modulate' a given offender's day to day routine, thus there is potential to combine this mass of stored data to develop a 'picture' of a person's activities, communications, passions, financial transactions, etc. Cohen talked about a 'blurring of boundaries' such that it may also be difficult to inform where the prison ends and the city begins, because of the use of guardianship and electronic monitoring. This type of technology is incredibly intrusive on part of the offender and may seek to segregate them from the city and also affects the family of the offender. However, it does not seem to have an effect on the public at large.

Jones points out that intelligence agencies' use of surveillance routines (i. e. spying) and their use of ongoing monitoring systems designed to alert those to certain circumstances appealing or matter. CCTV can also be combined with cosmetic recognition software to match facial image data stored on directories of known individuals. Even though this can be seen as intrusive, there would be a reason behind why the suspect's image happened in the first place. This might flag-up known offenders which, would make it an easier task for authorities exploration if such technologies existed. The inescapability of security and conformity with it is something that lots of people find objectionable for many reasons, such as, lack of personal privacy, autonomy, trust or control and may thus actively avoid or seek to subvert it. However, it is more accepted if the info obtained is recognised as being reliable. If cameras are directing in the correct course and images are being noted then a visible record of the offence is made which could be utilized to apprehend the offender and/or secure a conviction in a judge, as it can be available in research, thereby justifying the utilization of CCTV. Poor image and saving quality seem likely to become less significant as technology increases. However, this may not act as a deterrent as offense may be displaced so that offenders simply commit offences where there are no surveillance cameras. There was perception that CCTV would deter folks from committing offences, however, research demonstrates CCTV schemes weren't as able to crime reduction as hoped. Welsh and Farrington found that improved neighborhood light was far better in reducing crime in city centres, that both were far better in minimizing property offences than violent offences, and that both methods were far more effective in minimizing crime. In addition they mentioned that in Britain city centres CCTV cams generally appear popular with the general public.

In 1991, Foucault concentrated on the 'fine art of federal' where carry out was not controlled or governed by the criminal justice system only but through a plethora of organisations, many of them private and many with a central role in other spheres such as commerce. These include local government bodies, health services and voluntary firms. Folks are also expected to take responsibility for his or her own security. Each one of these increases the process of responsibilisation which has become part of modern control of crime and disorder. " Foucault's talk of governmentality included the surge of neo-liberalism, which recast the perfect role of the state of hawaii from one as guarantor of security to one in which guideline is progressively performed 'at a distance' from their state. Cohen talked about 'dispersal of discipline' and stated that boundaries have also been blurred between the public and the private as the private sector involves play an ever-larger role. Privatised ownership of data elevated anxiety of "expandable mutability" and "function creep, " which can be concepts and therefore technology suitable for one purpose may take on other functions, and data collected for one purpose can migrate for use in different ways that have potential to be deployed in broader contexts. A good example of this is where Travel for London allows mass data from its ANPR cams used to log vehicles for congestion charging purposes to be looked at in "real-time" by anti-terrorist officers of the Metropolitan Law enforcement for intelligence purposes. The showing of brains information between companies is possibly prone to unauthorised "leakage" and potential mistreatment of data sharing. This might lead to breaches of the info protection, human protection under the law and the erosion of privateness, as the general public are unaware that data accumulated in relation to them has been used for unidentified purposes, even though they may be legitimate. A proven way the law has sought to deal with this is through the Data Protection Action 1998, which requires that those who operate CCTV systems (data controllers) and who track record images that individuals can be discovered, must enroll with the Information Commissioner and ensure that the system is operated relative to the data coverage key points, however this legislation does not apply for intelligence purposes as identified above.

To conclude, procedural safeguards included monitoring cameras have come to be a routine presence on city roadways and the risk of unrestrained Condition authorities, of arbitrary electricity and the violations of civil liberties seem to be no longer to find so prominently in public areas matter. Corbett argues that increased surveillance is defensible if the info collected is used strictly for state security purposes, criminal offenses prevention and crime detection, to promote deterrence and encourage conformity of potential offenders, and when this fails, sanction them in the expectation of future individual deterrence. For the moment, surveillance technologies are here to remain; it's the price that individuals need to pay to be able to have upgraded national security for the safety and security of the mass population. However, is the State surveillance going too far with the form of monitoring on the highways, where camcorders are permitted to reach in to the "private" interior space of vehicles to picture a driver as a safeguard against charges point scam or where proposals have been designed for mandatorily fitting automobiles with "black bins" that must locate them in case of a highway crash? A balance must be struck so that the State does not abuse its power, otherwise it will be accountable to Article 8.

Word count: 2, 498

Bibliography - Question 2


Garland, D. 2001. The Culture of Control: Offense and Community Order in Fashionable Society, Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Hale, C. , Hayward, K. , Wahidin, A. , & Wincup, E. , 2005. Criminology, Oxford University or college Press: Oxford

Newburn, T. , 2007. Criminology, Willan Posting: Devon.

Williams, K. . , 2008. Textbook on Criminology, 6th edition, Oxford University Press: Oxford


Corbett, C. 2008. Techno-Surveillance of the Streets: High Impact and Low Interest, Crime Elimination and Community Safeness, 10, 1-18

Shearing, C. & Stenning, P. 1987. Say 'Cheese!' The Disney Order that is not so Mickey Mouse, Private Policing, Newbury Area, CA: Sage. PP. 317-323

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