Citizen surveil-labour: Analysing Crime Stoppers and its alliance of police, media, and publics

RA Lincoln, Laura McGillivray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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An examination of a Crime Stoppers initiative – a weekly page published in a major city-based tabloid newspaper – afforded a rare glimpse into this understudied global entity. It also offered a means of reflecting on the co-option of CCTV images; partnerships between police, media organisations, and diverse publics; and the harnessing of citizen labour in a culture of surveillance. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted on the images, accompanying texts, and rhetoric of this feature page for a two-year period. From a media criminology perspective, the portrayals underscore the abrogation of the presumption of innocence, a focus on mundane property offences, with the potential to exacerbate fear of crime and to engender more punitive public attitudes. From a conceptual frame, this article proffers the notion of surveil-labour where the repurposing of CCTV data in the context of a Crime Stoppers scheme reinforces an alliance of police, media, and the public to enhance an infrastructure of informing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-307
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date7 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


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