Report examines policing response to the pandemic

Published on 23 February 2022
Strengths and weaknesses were found in the policing response during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic
Brief
2 mins read
A uniformed police officer facing away

A report into the UK policing response to the COVID-19 pandemic found the service has been presented with unprecedented challenges.

The report – co-authored and jointly published by the Police Foundation and Crest Advisory – set out how UK policing responded to these challenges from March 2020 to April 2021.

Despite coming under considerable pressure, the report found that the police responded well to the operational challenge and kept core services running at a time when other public services often struggled.

Less positively, the pandemic reinforced the limits of the existing 43-force model and the demands that require different policing skills and capabilities.

The report covers:

  • public consent and legitimacy in a pandemic
  • police demand during the pandemic
  • the effectiveness of the police’s response
  • policing COVID-19 across Europe – comparisons with England and Wales
  • the pandemic and the future of policing

The report identifies five key lessons that can be taken from how the COVID-19 pandemic has been policed and makes a series of recommendations based upon them. These are centred around:

  • crime prevention
  • managing demand and workforce reform
  • clarity around the rules
  • communication and engagement
  • the importance of a strong strategic centre

Read the Policing the pandemic report

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