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Surveillance and Crime

Surveillance and Crime

October 2010 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Surveillance has a long-standing relationship with crime and its identification, prevention, detection and punishment. With information on each citizen spanning up to 700 databases, and over 4 million CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom alone, this book explores how new technologies have given rise to new forms of monitoring and control.


Offering a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between surveillance, crime and criminal justice, this book explores:

  • the development of surveillance technologies within a broad historical context
  • how new surveillance technologies are shaped by existing social relations, political practices, cultural traditions and organizational contexts
  • the implications of the use of surveillance in responding to crime (including biometrics, DNA samples and electronic monitoring)
  • how 'new' surveillance technologies reinforce 'old' social divisions - particularly along the lines of class, race, gender and age.

The book draws upon theoretical debates from a range of disciplines to shed light on this topical subject. Engaging and authoritative, this is an important read for advanced students and academics in criminology, criminal justice, social policy and sociology.



The Key Approaches to Criminology series celebrates the removal of traditional barriers between disciplines and, specifically, reflects criminology’s interdisciplinary nature and focus.  It brings together some of the leading scholars working at the intersections of criminology and related subjects.  Each book in the series helps readers to make intellectual connections between criminology and other discourses, and to understand the importance of studying crime and criminal justice within the context of broader debates. 


The series is intended to have appeal across the entire range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies and beyond, comprising books which offer introductions to the fields as well as advancing ideas and knowledge in their subject areas. 

Surveillance, Crime and Controversy

Understanding Surveillance
The Historical Foundations of Surveillance
New Policing and New Surveillance
Globalization, Surveillance and the 'War' on Terror
Surveillance, Power and Social Impacts
'Contesting' and 'Resisting' Surveillance
The Politics of Visibility and Invisibility

Deconstructing Surveillance, Crime and Power

'This is a book about surveillance - a theoretical and empirical analysis of its historical emergence through to its contemporary uses and abuses - but it is much, much more than that. The authors skilfully lead us, via the idea and practices of surveillance, to core issues of 'crime', power and the state. Whether you have read every or no book about surveillance, you must read this one.'
Steve Tombs
Professor of Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University

'This is an excellent book, well-argued, well-referenced and important. The authors' analysis of how 'crime' and surveillance intersect with relations of power is superb. A significant and original contribution to both surveillance and corporate crime literatures'
Laureen Snider
Professor of Sociology, Queen's University, Canada

This book gives the reader a good introduction to the many facets of modern surveillance. It is well researched and the authors present this in a way that is accessible for the students.

Mr Darren Woodward
Social Science , Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
June 6, 2016

Coleman offers a good overview of various debates on surveillance. This is good for the part of a third year core theory unit taught at MMU which focuses on cities, exclusion, regulation and surveillance.

Dr Joanne Massey
Dept of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
May 8, 2015

An absolute must for any student wishing to get to grips with and develop an understanding of surveillance and its pevasive nature.

Miss Anna Waistnage
Health and Social care sciences, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
February 25, 2015

May be useful as supplementary reading for our first year module on punishment. Particularly pp.16-31 due to the links with Foucault's work on punishment and surveillance.

Mr Andrew Henley
Department of Criminology, Keele University
April 22, 2014

Brilliant... an important addition to current research in this area. Well argued developing the core issues of 'crime' 'power' and the state. Very relevant for the current Crime & Security module.

Mr Simon Hale-Ross
School of Law, Liverpool John Moores University
December 13, 2012

An excellent, informed and thought provoking text for undergraduate study.This will be the key text for this module as it reflects learning outcomes of the module.

Dr Faye Cosgrove
Social Sciences - Policing, Sunderland University
October 9, 2012

An attempt, mainly successful, to provide a resource for those interested in both the ethics and processes of the surveillance society.
One area which could be addressed min future editions is the issue of the public carrying out surveillance on the state.

Mr Ashley Tiffen
Institute of Policing and Criminal Justice Studies, University of Cumbria
September 4, 2012

This is an excellent, well structured approach to subject of surveillance and crime. The book will provide students with a thoroughly grounded approach to the theory of surveillance - linked very clearly to wider social and global developments surrounding surveillance. It will also give them the intellectual tools to approach all aspects of surveillance as we observe in modern society.

Dr John Topping
Fac. of Social Sciences, Ulster University
June 1, 2012

A useful overview of key issues in surveillance, particularly in relation to power, policing and cultures of control

Dr Victoria Canning
Sociology , Liverpool John Moores University
February 10, 2012

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