Upcoming Events

Policing the Pandemic

Disproportionality, Discretion, & ‘Policing by Consent

Friday 9 Sept, 14:00-15:30


How did police use of Covid-19 powers differ between communities and what does this tell us about discretion and ‘policing by consent’?

The disproportional policing of Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic people has been recognised as a continual source of injustice in the UK, despite ongoing reform work. As police were given new powers to enforce the unprecedented restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, this disproportionality appeared to re-emerge in how the regulations were enforced – despite their apparently universal application.

In a roundtable discussion hosted by Chief Supt Ngaire Waine (Merseyside), researchers discuss their work on how the police used these exceptional powers, what this suggests about police discretion and the idea of ‘policing by consent’ and what practical steps might be taken to reduce – or even eliminate – inequalities in the use of police powers against different communities.

Featured Research

‘Every ticket tells a story’: Understanding ethnic disproportionality in FPNs issued for breaching coronavirus restrictions

Dr Liz Turner, University of Liverpool, will discuss her N8 PRP Small Grant ‘Every Ticket Tells a Story’. The research interviewed officers across 5 forces about why they issued specific FPNs for breaching Covid restrictions, giving unique insights into the individual and collective decision-making process at play in policing Covid restrictions.

From the ‘usual’ to the ‘unusual’ suspects: How Covid-19 changed policing in Scotland

Prof Susan McVie , OBE FRSE FAcSS, University of Edinburgh, will use analysis of over 20,000 Covid-related Fixed Penalty Notices issued in Scotland between March 2020 and May 2021, and interview data from frontline police officers, to discuss the policing challenges posed by the pandemic and how these changed over time. She will also reflect on weaknesses in the regulatory framework which may have impacted on the ability of officers to police by consent.

Webinar: Communications with ‘Hard to Reach’ Groups

Tuesday 26 July, 14:00-14:45

Oliver Wooley, Maisie Waitling, and Nigel Swift discuss the changes made to West Yorkshire Police’s VAWG communications strategy as a result of Oliver and Maisie’s KE Internship. 

Webinar: Intimate Partner Violence During Covid-19

Tuesday 8 March, 14:00-15:00

Dr Hayley Alderson, University of Newcastle, discusses the findings of her N8 PRP Small Grant on the experience of IPV during Covid-19.

Webinar: Police Demand During Covid-19

Thursday 24 March, 15:00-16:00

Dr Réka Solymosi and team discuss the findings of their N8 PRP Small Grant and what it means for police resources and planning.