Book reveals myths behind CCTV surveillance in France

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French sociologist Élodie Lemaire spent 16 months alongside various different professionals involved in CCTV surveillance in a town in northern France. The result is a book that highlights both the myths and realities of video surveillance. It reveals a technology that is limited in its impact by both technical issues and power struggles between judges, the police and CCTV operators. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

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Élodie Lemaire spent close to a year and a half immersed in the world of video surveillance. Between 2015 and 2015 this sociologist, who specialises in security and justice issues, experienced the daily life of people who work in different parts of the CCTV sector in a town in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France. The identity of the town, which she calls 'Braville' in the book, has been concealed to protect the anonymity of the people she studied.