Edited by Monica den Boer
Chapter 14: Technology, law and policing
Police technology is varied, and its use varies across police organizations and within police organizations. Technology is shaped by the police organization, but it also shapes it. The application of technology to policing is driven by the idea of ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’. However, research suggests that police technology has not contributed significantly to police effectiveness. Information processing – which is increasingly supported by surveillance technology - is crucial to police organizations, particularly because it allows them to predict and control uncertainty. Police technologies that are used around the globe can be grouped into those that support mobility, those that extend human senses (such as cameras); those that permit data-processing, and those that support training and simulation. The author raises a number of poignant questions, for instance as to whether and to what extent the law –especially human rights law – governs the police use of technology. Importantly, the author also raises the issue of police resistance against the introduction of new technologies.
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