Airports are places that are heavily surveilled by different (technical) means, including CCTV (Closed Circuit Television). So far, the literature on CCTV has not paid much attention to the practices behind the screens of the CCTV monitors at airports. In this article, we present an in-depth, ethnographic study of the use of CCTV in the Military Police's control room at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We find that, since nobody is ‘at home’ at Schiphol, surveillance through CCTV is a challenge for the police. The operators in the control room are constantly struggling with the question how to spot deviance in a situation where they believe normal behavior does not exist. Our study shows that the categories for singling out the abnormal identified by Norris and Goold are rarely used by the Military Police at Schiphol. Instead, they heavily rely on routine, transmitted, and retrospective surveillance.
|Title of host publication||Video Surveillance – Practices and Policies in Europe|
|Editors||C.W.R. Webster, E. Töpfer, F.R. Klauser, C.D. Raab|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Name||Innovation in the Public Sector|
Wagenaar, F. P., & Boersma, F. K. (2012). ‘Zooming in on ‘heterotopia’: CCTV-operator practices at Schiphol Airport (reprint of Wagenaar, F.P. and F.K. Boersma (2012). Zooming in on ‘heterotopia’: CCTV-operator practices at Schiphol Airport, Information Polity, 17: 7-20). In C. W. R. Webster, E. Töpfer, F. R. Klauser, & C. D. Raab (Eds.), Video Surveillance – Practices and Policies in Europe (pp. 66-79). (Innovation in the Public Sector; No. 18). Amsterdam: IOP.