Towards Citizen Forensics: Improving Citizen-Police Collaboration

Bandara, Arosha; Zhang, Min; Price, Blaine; Pike, Graham; Elphick, Camilla; Walkington, Zoe; Frumkin, Lara; Philpot, Richard; Levine, Mark; Stuart, Avelie and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2020). Towards Citizen Forensics: Improving Citizen-Police Collaboration. In: Workshop on Crime and/or Punishment: Joining the Dots between Crime, Legality and HCI, Extended Abstracts of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 25-30 Apr 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA.


Pervasive digital technologies are increasingly used to record different aspects of citizens’ lives, from activity and location tracking, to social interactions and video recordings of life experiences. However, effective use of these technologies to strengthen collaborations between citizens and police requires a fresh examination of the creation and use of evidence. We extend the concept of Citizen Forensics to denote this new model of citizen-police collaboration. By drawing on the literature on citizen science and community policing, we identify the challenges that must be addressed to meet the important societal need of improving citizen-police collaborations.

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