Tv-overvågning og personfarlig kriminalitet – fremstillinger, frygtmagere

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Stinne Waagner Østergaard
4. semester, Politik og Administration, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Close circuit television (CCTV) in public places is under rapid development in Denmark. A large
part of the population supports and celebrates CCTV, especially when it regards fighting offences
against the person (OAP). Some sociologist and a professor in communication believe that the way
certain key agent in society portray things has an effect on how the public feels and thinks about it.
This thesis aims to clarify how these agents (politicians, the police and the media) portray OAP and
CCTV in order to clarify to what degree the agents’ reference contains element that can cause the
public to support CCTV. The analysis is made with a case from Aalborg. Aalborg-casen implies a
killing episode on the 7th of April 2007 in Jomfru Ane Gade and following debate about implementing
CCTV to fight crime. Aalborg-casen in chosen because it can provide a lot of information
and could be representative.
Concerning the analysis of how the agents portray OAP I look for elements that could create the
detected traces of fear and exaggerated believes about OAP in the public which could lead to wishes
of more security – e.g. CCTV.
In the analysis of how the agents portray CCTV I look for elements that can give the public a good
and positive impression of CCTV and put focus on security and thereby also on crime which according
to sociologist David L. Altheide can cause fear and so on (“the irony of security”). Support
can be caused by the agents highlighting the good expectations, downplaying the uncertainty of
good consequences, and omitting to mention the possible unintended and negative consequences.
Method of text analysis is used on the empiricism which includes newspaper articles and document
from the official site for the Danish Police and the official site for the Danish Parliament.
To guide the analysis and interpret the findings I have used a theory on Culture of fear. Especially
the part about fear mongers and how and why they speak of crime and security.
Concerning the killing episode I discovered that the media (some newspapers more than other), by
the amount of articles about the killing episode in Aalborg and the way the media portray it
(sources, words, lack of calming perspectives etc.), has the most potential for creating fear in the
public and therefore support of security. According to the theory the media as well as the politicians
have interest in focusing on crime and potentially create fear. But unlike the media the politicians
(both right-wing and left-wing) speak surprisingly little of the killing episode and do not use bloody
details or exaggerations concerning the killing and OAP. Beside the fact that the politicians do not
use any perspectives on crime rates (including calming one) the way the politicians portray the killing
episode does not contain elements that could cause fear in the public and support the wish for
The police as a joined group have a more mixed way of speaking of the killing episode. Their portrayal
contains therefore only elements to a smaller degree that might cause fear and exaggerated
expectations (e.g. frequent mentioning of the killing, some use of bloody details and lack of perspective).
Regarding how the agents portray CCTV I discovered that the police most distinctly portray CCTV
and the expectations in a manner that promotes CCTV and creates a good impression and according
to the theory therefore possible support. The overall message from the police is that CCTV can/will
have a number of good consequences. The insecurities are rarely mentioned and there is a total lack
of mentioning the negative consequences that might occur in the light of more surveillance.
The politicians are divided into two groups when it comes to portraying CCTV (not in right-wing/
left-wing groups). While one group brings attention to CCTV and the possible good consequences
the other group mentions the insecurities and possible downfalls about monitoring everyday life.
How the politician’s portray CCTV therefore only to some degree contains elements that can cause
the public to support CCTV.
How the media portray CCTV is made up of how the newspapers themselves portray CCTV and
how the sources used by the newspapers portray CCTV. One newspaper only portrays CCTV from
a sceptical angle and use sources that refer to scientific rapports that question the outcome of CCTV
against OAP. The other newspapers either promote a mixed or totally positive view of CCTV. By
far most of the articles on CCTV promote a positive view and has the potential to create public support.
It is how the politicians portray CCTV and how the police and the media portray both the killing
episode and CCTV that in various degrees contain elements that can cause the public to support
Udgivelsesdato14 mar. 2011
Antal sider123
ID: 48910634