SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: What can change the willingness of people to report crimes? A 6-month study in Denver investigated whether Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) can change crime-reporting behavior, with treatment-officers wearing BWCs patrolling targeted street segments, while control officers patrolled the no-treatment areas without BWCs. Stratified street segments crime densities were used as the units of analysis, in order to measure the effect on the number of emergency calls in target versus control street segments. Repeated measures ANOVAs and subgroup analyses suggest that BWCs lead to greater willingness to report crimes to the police in low crime density level residential street segments, but no discernable differences emerge in hotspot street segments. Variations in reporting are interpreted in terms of accountability, legitimacy, or perceived utility caused by the use of BWCs. Situational characteristics of the street segments explain why low-level street segments are affected by BWCs, while in hotspots no effect was detected.
Abstract: Technology has become a major source of expenditure and innovation in law enforcement and is assumed to hold great potential for enhancing police work. But does technology achieve these expectations? The current state of research on technology in policing is unclear about the links between technologies and outcomes such as work efficiencies, effectiveness in crime control, or improved police–community relationships. In this article, we present findings from a mixed-methods, multiagency study that examines factors that may mediate the connection between technology adoption and outcome effectiveness in policing. We find that police view technology through technological and organizational frames determined by traditional and reactive policing approaches. These frames may limit technology’s potential in the current reform era and cause unintended consequences.