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.

Areas for consideration based on international experience

  • Police need clear and timely guidance and appropriate tools to ensure they are equipped to enforce new restrictions
  • There are examples from several countries of what seems like good and innovative practice[1] of policing domestic abuse (France, Ireland, NZ)
  • The challenge will be to maintain this response and continue to prioritise police efforts on the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable groups (e.g. children and the elderly) after the pandemic, and when demands on policing resume or intensify
  • The demands and expectations of policing have increased at a time when resources are already stretched - in part directly due to absenteeism caused by COVID-19
  • Prepare for a continuing decline in public compliance to restrictions due to 'lockdown fatigue'[2]
  • Ensure prompt responses to possible issues arising e.g. be prepared to deal efficiently and quickly with unexpected large gatherings in public spaces
  • Prioritise regular patrolling around retail businesses reopening and take-away outlets to avoid incidents in queues (Northern Ireland, NZ - 'reassurance checks')
  • Police forces should be mindful of the risks associated with inconsistent /differential approaches to enforcing legislation[3]
  • Focus on maintaining/rebuilding community trust in the work of the police
  • The new measures introduced by governments to support individuals and businesses struggling economically during the crisis may open up new forms of criminal exploitation (Norway)
  • Consider 'secondary effects' of lockdown - economic instability, changes in crime, boredom, increasing societal division, protests and civil unrest
  • The pandemic has strengthened the need for more collaborative ways of working and partnerships within and across the public and private sectors[4]



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