Coronavirus (COVID-19): international policing responses - part 2 - easing of lockdown

This review (part 2) considers international policing approaches and responses during the easing of lockdown (up to 15 June 2020) and future considerations.

Annex 2: Brief for International policing responses to COVID-19: Easing of lockdown

Rather than developing the facility to update the first paper, a successive paper will be drafted, looking at a smaller number of countries in greater depth. This follow-on paper aims to inform thinking around medium and longer term responses to International policing approaches and responses during the easing of lockdown and future considerations, by drawing on examples of policing in jurisdictions where the lockdown has already been eased. It will consider how different 'types' of policing systems and models with various histories, styles and social systems policed the easing of COVID-19 restrictions (see table below). The following research questions will be addressed:

  • What have been the key challenges for policing during the (respective) current phases of the pandemic? (This will depend on what phase of the pandemic each country is in). For example:
    • the clarity of the legislation /guidance
    • training and guidance for the Police
    • ensuring Police health and safety
    • maintaining public confidence in the policing of the restrictions
    • challenges of co-operation, with the public and/or partner agencies
    • challenges of internal and external communication
    • policing young people/older children who are out of school for long periods
    • policing domestic abuse
    • preparing for the possibility of civil unrest and how to manage this
    • policing of food and drink outlets, including surrounding road safety
  • Where have there been examples of good and/or innovative policing practice? e.g. Examples of:
    • How other countries have maintained public confidence in the police, to police the restrictions as challenges shift as the lockdown is eased and if public disorder becomes an issue
    • Effective partnership working between the Police and others in response to COVID-19
    • Police services' public communications, to consider how they have helped public understanding and influenced behaviours
  • What are the lessons learned?
  • Have there been any unintended consequences to particular policing approaches? And any examples of mitigating actions that were taken to address these
  • What Human Rights and Equalities considerations have been found? For example:
    • how is easing the lockdown affecting the police? i.e. psychological and physical effects
    • the effects on wider society of the policing of COVID 19
  • Longer-term considerations, for example:
    • police morale
    • the relationship between the public and police
    • examples of where forced changes in policing are seen as a positive development by the police/where the police are keen to retain new ways of working in the longer term
    • ocietal changes as a result of lifting the lockdown and potential effects on police? i.e. increase in violence, domestic abuse, levels of reported crime, etc.

The focus of the paper is to provide international evidence to support Scottish considerations and it will not include a comparative assessment of Scotland's policing. It will be for partners with the necessary expertise and appropriate independence to make an assessment of Scotland's policing.



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