Surveillance, Technology and Policing: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Monday, 30th April 2012, University of Dundee

This conference was the second in a series of events funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts & Humanities Network Award on the theme of Crime and Policing in Scotland: Past and Present. The network is intended to provide a unique forum for researchers to engage with police and criminal justice practitioners, with the aim of sharing and enhancing mutual knowledge and research agendas and providing an opportunity for contemporary Scottish crime and policing issues to be considered from an international historical perspective.

The theme was surveillance and technology. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries British authorities prided themselves on not adopting methods of surveillance and control similar to those used by other European police forces, notably France, the German states and Russia. In recent decades, however, Britain has become one of the most intensely surveilled western societies as a result of investment in closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems and the development of DNA databases. The aims of the workshop were to generate a dialogue between historians, contemporary researchers and police practitioners about patterns in the introduction and diffusion of surveillance technologies since the 1920s, prompt debate about the nature of technological responses to the threats posed by crime and disorder, and consider how new technologies open up innovative possibilities in terms of police-community interactions.

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The Speakers
Front (l to r): Jim Fraser, Paul Knepper.
Back (l to r): Nick Fyfe, Chris Williams, Gordon Scobbie

The audience

The audience