High Policing and Access to Information


Brodeur’s concept of high policing is now a staple in sociology and criminology. While scholars have added to debates about high policing by focusing on private provision and pluralization, methodological concerns related to high policing remain underdeveloped. Here, we examine the use of access to information (ATI) requests as a methodological tool for producing data on high policing. We argue that despite the utility of ATI for social scientists producing data on policing, the information management practices of policing agencies and the laws that enable their surveillance and intelligence practices curtail ATI in ways that we detail with focus on Canadian federal policing and intelligence agencies. In conclusion, we reflect on the implications of our findings for literature on public policing and ATI.

Police Practice & Research, 16(6)