Bringing into focus the experience of public camera surveillance




Lett, Daniel

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This thesis is an exploratory investigation of public opinion about open-street closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance in Canada. Since 1981, at least 14 cities in Canada have established CCTV monitoring programs to address crime, fear of crime, and social disorder. Opportunities for the public to participate in the establishment of CCTV are limited, yet the opinions and interests of Canadians are invoked in CCTV promotional rhetoric. This study involves the discourse analysis of data from focus groups on the subject of CCTV conducted with seniors and support shelter clients in downtown Kelowna, British Columbia; Kelowna has run a CCTV monitoring program since 2001. I argue that understandings of public CCTV are linked to normative visions of the downtown, rather than evidence of CCTV’s effectiveness. I also argue that public opinion about CCTV is contingent on the availability of resources and information. I recommend improved public consultation as one possible solution.



CCTV, Surveillance, Kelowna, Public Opinion, Discourse Analysis