The working culture of covert policing

B. Goold

Faculty Of Law, University Of British Columbia

This paper presents some of the key findings from an ethnographic field study of covert policing in the UK, and aims to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship.

Biography

Benjamin Goold is a professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. His major research interests include privacy rights, the use of surveillance technologies by the police and intelligence communities, and the rhetoric and language of human rights.

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