Brown Bag Talk with Dr. Megan O'Neill

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
Enterprise Hall, #318

Brown Bag Talk with Dr. Megan O'Neill

The Department of Criminology, Law and Society (CLS) welcomes Dr. Megan O'Neill for a brown bag talk titled, "'It’s ok, I’m not using Facebook': Mitigating the effects of technologies on perceptions of procedural justice in police-public encounters." Dr. Megan O'Neill is a Reader in Human Geography at the University of Dundee and Associate Director (Police Community Relations Network) of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research. 

This event is open to CLS faculty, staff, and students in the department's MS, MA, and PhD programs. The event will take place in person in Enterprise 318, and a Zoom link will be provided to participants who RSVP but cannot attend in person.


Talk Title: “It’s ok, I’m not using Facebook”: Mitigating the effects of technologies on perceptions of procedural justice in police-public encounters 

Authors: Megan O'Neill (with Estelle Clayton, Will Andrews, Liz Aston, Helen Wells and Ben Bradford)

Abstract: In recent years, UK police forces have introduced various technologies that alter the methods by which they interact with the public. Many forces have also begun to embrace the concept of procedural justice to secure legitimacy and (in turn) public compliance and cooperation. What has not received sufficient attention is the extent to which these two trends are compatible. As such, the effect of technologically mediating police/public contacts and, in turn, the consequences for the British policing principle of ‘policing by consent’, are unknown. In this presentation, I will explore what the intended outcome of digital communication technologies was to be on interactions with the public using interviews with national police leaders. I will consider the extent to which procedural justice was the focus of these developments and in what way. I will also, using data from in-depth ethnographic observations of response, community and traffic policing units in three UK police forces, demonstrate how digital technologies are perceived and navigated during in-person encounters. This includes devices such as body-worn video (BWV), mobile data terminals (MDT) and smart phones. We find that officers display several techniques, not all of which are compliant with policy, to mitigate the effects of the technology in the encounter, often whilst members of the public are also engaging with their own devices. We will discuss how the public use methods of interaction to mitigate or comply with officers. We will explore the implications of this for conceptions of procedural justice.

Sponsored by Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

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