In this article, we draw upon data derived from an ethnographic field study of covert policing to shed light on the occupational culture of those officers engaged in the targeted surveillance of the public. Although many of the attitudes and working practices of covert officers mirror those offices found in more ‘traditional’ areas of policing, they also differ from them in a number of important ways. In particular, aspects of the occupational commonsense inherent to covert surveillance work reveals a distinct working culture, which operates in isolation from the clichéd cultural expressions of uniformed police that have been the focus of much scholarship. These alternative expressions of police culture, we suggest, arise from crucial differences in police logics and method.
Mac Giollabhui, S., Loftus, B., & Goold, B. (2016). From a Visible Spectacle to an Invisible Presence: The Working Culture of Covert Policing. British Journal of Criminology, 56(4), 629–645. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azv076