The limits of looking: Managing crime-images of victims

Laura McDonald, University of Sydney,

This paper explores the creation, dissemination and control of crime-images, specifically those of victims of crime. The public’s engagement with visual representations of crime is rising in the digital age, highlighting how crime is increasingly mediated through still and moving images, from CCTV and bystander camera-phone footage, to Periscope’s live-streaming capabilities, to personal Facebook photos re-published by the media to increase a crime story’s newsworthiness. These proliferating images have immense power to shape the public’s understanding of crime, law, and justice. But our engagement with them may be problematic especially when it comes to victims’ rights.