Police Visibility: Privacy, Surveillance, and the False-Promise of Body-Worn Cameras

Bryce Newell

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Police Visibility presents empirically grounded research into how police officers experience and manage the information politics of surveillance and visibility generated by the introduction of body cameras into their daily routines and the increasingly common experience of being recorded by civilian bystanders. Newell elucidates how these activities intersect with privacy, free speech, and access to information law and argues that rather than being emancipatory systems of police oversight, body-worn cameras are an evolution in police image work and state surveillance expansion. Throughout the book, he catalogs how surveillance generates information, the control of which creates and facilitates power and potentially fuels state domination. The antidote, he argues, is robust information law and policy that puts the power to monitor and regulate the police squarely in the hands of citizens.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of California Press
Number of pages260
ISBN (Electronic)9780520382923
ISBN (Print)9780520382909
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • privacy
  • surveillance
  • police
  • policing
  • visibility
  • bodycams
  • body-worn cameras
  • body cameras
  • law and technology
  • law and society
  • socio-legal
  • freedom
  • Freedom of speech


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