Francesca Menichelli

Dr Francesca Menichelli

Lecturer in Criminology
PhD in Urban Studies, Universita' di Milano-Bicocca, FHEA
+44 (0)1483 686965
30 AD 03
by appointment out of term time

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.


University roles and responsibilities

  • Programme Director BSc Criminology
  • Public Engagement Lead

Affiliations and memberships

Academic networks


Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

Courses I teach on


Postgraduate taught

My publications


Menichelli F (2018) Sovereignty, In: Arrigo B (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
Menichelli F (2018) Foucault, Michel, In: Arrigo B (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
This paper argues that in Italy the notion of urban security is being used to shift sovereignty from national to local authorities. This has been made possible thanks to the political and legislative processes taking place in the country in the past decade, which have opened up a space of autonomy where local authorities could play a proactive role in the provision of security to citizens. This is exemplified by the flows of public funding that have been made available for security-related projects throughout the country. Finally, the article concludes by arguing that the spread of concerns over the security of Italian cities has not automatically led to the securitization of urban space in Italian cities.
Menichelli F (2013) Rearranging Urban Space, International Journal of E-Planning Research 2 (4) pp. 13-26 IGI Global
This article investigates what happens to urban space once an open-street CCTV system is implemented, framing the analysis in terms of the wider struggle that unfolds between different urban stakeholders for the definition of acceptability in public space. It is argued that, while the use of surveillance cameras was initially seen as functional to the enforcement of tighter control and to the de-complexification of urban space so as to make policing easier, a shift has now taken place in the articulation of this goal. As a result, it has slowly progressed to affect the wider field of sociability, with troubling consequences for the public character of public space. In light of this development, the article concludes by making the case for a normative stance to be taken in order to increase fairness and diversity in the city.

The PRISMS project analyses the traditional trade-off model between security and privacy
and devises a more evidence-based perspective for reconciling security, privacy and trust. It
examines how technologies aimed at enhancing security are subjecting citizens to an increasing
amount of security measures and, in many cases, causing infringements of privacy and
fundamental rights. It conducts both a multidisciplinary inquiry into the concepts of security
and privacy and their relationships and a EU-wide survey to determine whether or not people
evaluate the introduction of security technologies in terms of a trade-off. As a result, the project
determines the factors that affect the public assessment of the security and privacy implications
of a given security technology. The project has used these results to devise a decision
support system providing users (those who deploy and operate security systems) insight into
the pros and cons, constraints and limits of specific security investments compared to alternatives
taking into account a wider society context.

The criminological work package (WP4) included within PRISMS aims to contribute in two
significant ways to the general remit of the overall project. As outlined in deliverable 4.1, the
first goal was to arrive to a formulation of a conceptualisation of the notions of security and
privacy from a criminological perspective that could be and were used to provide input for the
development of the survey, its concepts, questions and hypotheses. The second objective of
WP4 was the contextualisation of the results of the survey in light of a qualitative research
case study conducted at Brussels airport, in order to further feed with its insights the development
of the decision support system, one of the final outcomes of the project. The latter is
what is detailed in the present deliverable.

The main goal of the second research task of WP4 is to explore citizens? attitudes and evaluations
of security. This means that our leading question is: How do people experience securityprivacy
practices or situations? To get insight people?s experiences with security practices we
can only rely on how people frame and account (narrate) these experiences and events. Accounts
or narratives are tools that individuals use in a sort of radical reflexivity connecting
actions and accounts.1 As announced in the work package description, a qualitative case
study can precisely focus on the analysis of accounts or narratives concerning the experience
of participants of security practices. That way we can access how participants make sense of
the situation they are part of.

This deliverable is structured as follows: first, we will discuss the Brussels airport case study
afterwards, we will shortly evoke the normative framework for aviation security in place before
and after 9/11; then we will very briefly describe the governance of this field, with particular
emphasis on the Belgian case. Finally, we will present the main empirical findings of
our qualitative study, which will be used as the basis for the conclusions advanced in the final
section of the report.

Rob Kitchin?s latest book is an important addition to the emerging field of critical data studies, in that it manages to both make a clear, convincing and reasonably detailed case for why it is necessary to look critically at what data are?and, just as crucially, what they do in the world?and provide stimulating insights and suggestions for further research in this area.

Kitchin?s central claim is that we are in the midst of a revolution that is radically changing how data are produced, managed, stored and analysed, with far reaching implications for governments, businesses, civil society and science. The book charts the data revolution currently underway, providing in the process a conceptual and critical analysis of data and their modes of production and use.

Menichelli F (2018) New Penology, In: Arrigo B (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
Menichelli F (2018) Italy, In: Arrigo B (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
Menichelli, Francesca (2016) Order and Conflict in Public Space, Routledge
Which public and whose space? The understanding of public space as an arena where individuals can claim full use and access hides a reality of constant negotiation, conflict and surveillance. This collection uses case studies concerning the management, use, and transgression of public space to invite reflection on the way in which everyday social interaction is framed and shaped by the physical environment and vice versa. International experts from fields including geography, criminology, sociology and urban studies come together to debate the concepts of order and conflict in public space.
Menichelli F (2018) Theories of surveillance, In: Arrigo B (eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Surveillance, Security, and Privacy SAGE Publications
Menichelli, Francesca (2013) La conservazione dei beni culturali fra pubblico e privato, In: Orlandi Andrea, Menichelli Francesca, Ceccacci Francesca (eds.), L?Umbria tra crisi e nuova globalizzazione: Scenari, caratteri, tendenze 2 pp. 303-338 AURapporti
Il capitolo ricostruisce l'evoluzione del settore del restauro in Umbria a partire dagli anni Settanta e presenta una prima ricognizione del peso economico nel quadro dell'economia regionale delle imprese dedite al restauro dei libri.
Dating as far back as the mid-1990s, when British scholars started to question the spread of surveillance cameras in their country, studies on CCTV has become one of the most established areas of enquiry in Surveillance Studies. We now know that the gaze of cameras is far from neutral and suspicion is socially constructed to reflect the assumptions of those manning the system (Norris and Armstrong 1999), that operators develop strategies to ease the burden of long working hours when, for the most part, not much happens so that cameras are not watched at all times (Smith 2004), and that the use of CCTV for preventing access to public space to specific categories of undesirables is common in several European countries (Mork Lomell 2004; Fonio 2007). What the works mentioned above share with countless others is the belief that cameras negatively impact on the individual?s right to privacy in public space and that, as such, the exponential growth in the diffusion of open-street CCTV systems signals a progressive shift towards a more and more controlled society.
Menichelli F (2017) Beyond the Trade-off between Privacy and Security? Organisational Routines and Individual Strategies at the Security Check, In: Friedewald M, Burgess J, ?as J, Bellanova R, Peissl W (eds.), Surveillance, Privacy and Security. Citizens´ Perspectives pp. 91-104 Institute of Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
In his Collège de France lectures of the late 1970s, Foucault (2010) identifies the control over mobility as one of the crucial problems of government. Essentially, as the target of government shifted from the individual to the population, a new political rationality emerged, that identified the management of this aggregate as a problem. This allowed for two imperatives ? increased prosperity of the state and the maintenance of peace and internal order ? to be mutually satisfied. However, while the growing economic interdependency has globally pushed towards greater facilitation of both trade and travel ? as witnessed in the opening of borders through agreements such as Schengen in Europe and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) in North America ? a contrasting appeal to security, calling for the tightening of security measures, has increasingly emerged.
Menichelli F (2014) Technology, context, users: a conceptual model of CCTV, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 37 (2) pp. 389-403 Emerald


The purpose of this paper is to challenge the traditional placement of CCTV within the realm of crime prevention technologies and to propose a conceptualisation of surveillance cameras that takes into account how different elements interact to shape how these are understood, defined and used in the day-to-day practices of the police.


Methodologically, the research draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two medium-sized Italian cities where open-street CCTV systems have been recently implemented and is based on a combination of non-participant observations and interviews with police officers in both forces.


Overall, two main findings emerge from the fieldwork. First, cameras are rarely used and not for reasons pertaining to crime control; rather, they have become a tool for the efficient management of scarce policing resources, with particular emphasis on the co-ordination and real-time tracking of patrolling personnel. Second, this shift is understood in radically different ways by officers in the two cities, so that what is experienced as a benign form of peer-to-peer co-ordination in Central City becomes a form of undue surveillance on the part of higher ranks in Northern City.


The value of the present work is twofold. On one hand, it provides relevant information to police practitioners on how organisational and structural factors impact on the use of surveillance cameras in policing. On the other, embracing the idea that CCTV is constructed through the interaction of several distinct, yet related, processes can explain why the same technology is implemented, defined and used in different ways in comparable organisations.

The literature on the English model of community safety describes it as being centrally directed, situational in nature, focused on ASB and incivilities and not concerned with measures of social crime prevention. Based on an analysis of the community safety plans issued by English and Welsh local authorities between 2010 and 2014, this paper argues that such a characterisation is no longer accurate. Partnerships in England and Wales are now free from central oversight, and increasingly focused on safeguarding. In light of the work they do in support of vulnerable populations, and their role within the changing governance of England, more attention should be paid to them.
Menichelli Francesca (2019) Governing through vulnerability in austerity England, European Journal of Criminology pp. 1-18 SAGE Publications
Drawing on interviews with practitioners, the article reconstructs how and why vulnerability has become an organising principle in community safety work in England and Wales. Decreasing crime rates, growing awareness of risk and harm, loss of political salience of volume crime and modifications to the structure of incentives all contributed to making the move away from crime and disorder possible. The paper shows how vulnerability is now used to facilitate partnership working to maintain existing levels of service provision, but also to ration the amount of support made available to citizens at a time of austerity. This is potentially problematic and open questions remain on the solidity, orientation and reach of this shift. The article concludes by discussing the research findings in light of their broader implications for European criminology and comparative research.