‘Free text is essentially the enemy of what we’re trying to achieve’: the framing of a national vision for delivering digital police contact

Helen Wells (Lead / Corresponding author), Will Andrews, Estelle Clayton, Ben Bradford, Elizabeth V. Aston , Megan O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Police organisations in England and Wales, as in many other contexts, are increasingly shifting crime reporting and other public-facing contact online. In this paper we explore the beliefs, motivations, and objectives of those tasked with ‘delivering’ the ‘vision’ of digital police contact at the strategic national level. We use Goffman’s concept of frames – the set of expectations an actor brings to a situation or process – to understand how participants enacted this 'channel shift’ (Wells et al., 2023), the ends they were seeking to meet, and how different interests came to be designed-in to the contact architecture. We suggest that the primary frame centred around notions of efficiency and demand management. Running alongside this is a secondary frame of customer service, where it is assumed that the public also wish for the efficient delivery of this technologically mediated service. This, we suggest, is likely to be only a partial reflection of what people want when contacting police; but the framing of 'contact’ as a separate deliverable by those delivering this agenda serves to occlude or evade this point. Technology, we argue, imprints itself on the context by appearing to offer a convenient solution to problems of public wants and police needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-35
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Policing Studies
Volume7
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • police contact
  • digital reporting
  • technological mediation
  • contract frames
  • procedural justice
  • Single Online Home
  • police digital reporting

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '‘Free text is essentially the enemy of what we’re trying to achieve’: the framing of a national vision for delivering digital police contact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this