Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Criminology and Justice Honours

School

School of Arts and Humanities

First Advisor

Pamela Henry

Second Advisor

Nikki Rajakaruna

Abstract

Research suggests there may be a Camera Perspective Bias (CPB) effect across different camera footage types which influences viewer perceptions of police use of force encounters. Police body-worn camera (BWC) footage presents a first-person perspective from the officer’s point of view which predominantly captures the civilian. It is suggested that viewing an encounter from this perspective elicits a positive bias towards the officer when compared to CCTV footage. Additionally, research also shows that attitudes towards police influence perceptions of a filmed police-civilian encounters. This research aimed to investigate the effect of different camera evidence types (i.e., CCTV, BWC without audio and BWC with audio) and attitudes towards police on an individual’s perceptions of police-civilian use of force encounters. A within-between subject design was applied, in which participant attitudes towards police were measured. Participants viewed all three types of footage, CCTV, BWC without audio and BWC with audio, depicting ambiguous police-civilian use of force encounters. They were then asked about their perceptions of both the officers and the civilian within the footage. Despite the findings revealing significant interactions between camera evidence type and attitudes towards police for both perceptions of the officers and civilian, the current research did not find evidence to support the theory of CPB. Instead, the largest differences in participant perceptions for both the officers and civilian were observed predominantly between the BWC with and BWC without audio footage of which no difference in camera perspective occurs. This finding could suggest that the audio provided in the BWC footage may be an important factor to consider.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is embargoed until 17 June 2022.

Available for download on Friday, June 17, 2022

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