Lights, camera, provocation? Exploring experiences of surveillance in the policing of Scottish football

Hamilton-Smith, N., McBride, M. and Atkinson, C. (2021) Lights, camera, provocation? Exploring experiences of surveillance in the policing of Scottish football. Policing and Society, 31(2), pp. 179-194. (doi: 10.1080/10439463.2019.1696800)

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Based primarily on research into the policing of football fans in Scotland following the implementation of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act (Scotland) Act 2012 this paper examines the interplay of police techniques and surveillance technologies in the policing of Scottish football. There has been relatively little academic attention directed towards the Act, so the question of why and how this flagship legislation generated such intense opposition that it was repealed within six years of its introduction demands investigation. This paper explores the implementation of the Act from the perspectives of football fans, criminal justice agencies, and representatives of football clubs, with a specific focus on the impact of police surveillance practices. The research uncovered strong perceptions that such practices were considered intimidatory, which may have weakened the perceived legitimacy of the Act. This paper poses a challenge to simple readings of evidence in terms of the claimed benefits of particular forms of surveillance, arguing that the use of technologies such as powerful hand-held cameras and body worn video (BWV) has had a detrimental impact on police-fan relationships, interactions and dialogue.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project was originally supported by a separate research grant awarded by Justice Analytical Services Division, Scottish Government (ref: CJR/000/036).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mcbride, Dr Maureen
Authors: Hamilton-Smith, N., McBride, M., and Atkinson, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Journal Name:Policing and Society
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1477-2728
Published Online:13 December 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Policing and Society 31(2): 179-194
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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