Publication - Research and analysis

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

Published: 27 Jul 2020
Director-General Education and Justice
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international policing responses - part 2 - easing of lockdown
Main points from the paper

Main points from the paper

  • Countries are now at different stages of lockdown easing, but tend to follow a similar pattern
  • In many countries policing the initial lockdown was more straightforward than policing the eased lockdown, both because of the cumulative effect of lockdown on communities and often unclear guidance for officers
  • Police forces need time to digest and adapt to any significant changes in easing of lockdown, which has not always been afforded
  • As the restrictions have been eased countries have found policing by consent to be more important than ever, as police negotiate a fragmented and changing mix of restrictions[5]
  • There is emerging evidence that particular types of crime may have increased, including domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, anti-social behaviour and speeding, presenting different challenges for the police.[6] There is the potential for more anti-social behaviour as the lockdown eases with young people out of school
  • Now that the sense of urgency around COVID-19 has begun to settle, emergency police powers are being scrutinised more closely, with the police's actions being investigated in some cases (i.e. Northern Ireland)
  • It is possible that police morale may have been damaged in recent weeks following negative public perceptions of the police, reignited in response to the killing of George Floyd in the USA