Towards a Socio-Technical Understanding of Police-Citizen Interactions

Zhang, Min; Bandara, Arosha K.; Philpot, Richard; Stuart, Avelie; Walkington, Zoe; Elphick, Camilla; Frumkin, Lara; Pike, Graham; Price, Blaine; Levine, Mark and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2023). Towards a Socio-Technical Understanding of Police-Citizen Interactions. In: Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2023 (Abdelnour Nocera, J; Kristín Lárusdóttir, M; Petrie, H; Piccinno, A and Winckler, M eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, Cham, pp. 324–345.



The growing uptake of technology in policing provides the opportunity to revisit police-citizen interactions. This paper explores police-citizen interac- tions from a socio-technical systems perspective, drawing on community polic- ing in the HCI literature, as well as the experience of both citizens and the police. For the latter, we report on a qualitative study with 29 participants including cit- izens, parish councillors, and police officers in England. Our findings use a socio- technical systems lens to highlight both social and technological challenges in police-citizen interactions, leading to several implications for practice and HCI design. These challenges include those arising from divergent viewpoints, power, and information imbalances between stakeholders, and technical systems that du- plicate functionality or limit police-citizen interactions. Thus, our work contrib- utes to extending HCI insights into the socio-technical infrastructure of policing contexts, and a better foundation for future research in the design and use of tech- nologies to enhance community policing.

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