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Technology-mediated policing – socio-technical analysis of change

Identifying the ways policing organisations impact and are impacted by the selection, adoption, and usage of body-worn video.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Jean-Pierre Roux
Level of research
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

This exploratory research aims to uncover and describe the structural factors, personal beliefs, and environmental conditions that impact and are impacted by policing organisations' adoption of body-worn video (BWV).

To achieve this, the research aims to identify the ways technology, policing, and the public interact. The research analyses the effects and forces that shape and mediate these interactions.

This rich and accurate descriptive data will benefit:

  • academic knowledge by supporting a claim to re-emphasise the role of technology
  • the public and policing organisations through the provision of valuable empirical data for consideration during technology adoption policy and implementation discussions

Research methodology

To achieve these aims, the following objectives will be taken.

The research will: 

  • apply novel methodological approaches which recognise the potential role of technology as a significant variable
  • source qualitative data from a variety of members and parties
  • conduct thematic data analysis to identify and explore significant themes

To best map these aforementioned interactions and the factors affecting change, it's important to source information from as many relevant persons involved in BWV adoption as possible. This is because members in different positions and roles would have varied perceptions and knowledge about BWV technology, its usage, and its impacts.

Using a post-humanist socio-technical methodology novel to police research, the project will use a qualitative approach in the form of interviewing:

  • frontline operators making use of BWVs
  • trainers who are responsible for upskilling officers
  • IT support staff who maintain the hardware and software
  • managerial and senior staff who decide which BWV models are procured and how they are deployed (through procedures and policies)
  • members from third-sector organisations
  • BWV vendors

A brief field observation of BWV usage in frontline and response policing was also conducted.

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