Digital accountability for LEAs: balancing technical possibility, legal permissibility and societal acceptability

SAMPSON, Fraser (2020). Digital accountability for LEAs: balancing technical possibility, legal permissibility and societal acceptability. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The expansive proliferation of social media, electronic devices and data processing capabilities has presented Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) with a dilemma. On the one hand there is a need for/opportunity to expand capability, adapting practices and policies to capitalise on what is now technically possible (not only in the application of data technology but also in the context of what can be achieved within the technical conventions of the law), utilising citizens’ data and actively encouraging their collation and sharing as part of everyday community policing. On the other, the development in data technology has been accompanied by a rapid expansion in public expectation and a need for greater legal regulation, all combining to bring an important extension of police accountability. The focus of the research is thus how can LEAs balance that which is technically possible against what is legally permissible and societally acceptable? Moving from the known to the needed, the published work draws upon and addresses the size and shape of the dilemma, identifying gaps and supplying “evidence-informed management knowledge” (Tranfield et al 2003) at both an individual and organisational level. Providing a themed and coherent new praxis for LEAs the work identifies how LEAs must balance the availability of data with the rapidly increasing public expectations of privacy, security, confidentiality and accountability, collecting and connecting the qualitative knowledge and practice that resides in distributed places and people, in order to establish a previously unrecognised body of work that focuses on both opportunities and obligations, in order to promote an understanding of the ‘law in context’ and ultimately increase police effectiveness. The direction of the work follows a series of influences and confluences, tributaries and deltas of change flowing towards the same unequivocal destination: an original contribution to “knowledge about the traditional elements of the law and also about the quickly changing societal, political, economic and technological … aspects of relevance.” (Langbroek 2017).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Waddington, David
Additional Information: Director of studies: Professor Dave Waddington
Uncontrolled Keywords: PhD on the basis of published work
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2020 17:29
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 16:12

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