Policing beyond the pandemic: the transformation of police work practices in response to the crisis

Research Institution / Organisation

University of Leeds

Principal Researcher

Dr Emma Gritt & Dr Emma Forsgren

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

December 2020

Research Context

As the police adapt to new ways of working, there is a pressing need to share innovations and best practices locally and nationally. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst for innovation and provided a unique opportunity for the police to identify new workplace learnings, e.g., what types of innovation worked well, did not work well and what to carry forward beyond the crisis. From these insights, it is possible to conclude what innovations lead to important outcomes and how these can be sustained over time. We hope that this research will contribute with new knowledge as to how policing can be delivered differently in the future, based on emerging innovative work practices that have been enacted during the pandemic.


The specific aims of this project are to

  1. understand how police are adapting to new digital, remote work practices and the effects of this on policing; 

  2. work with policymakers to produce evidence-based policy guidance for policing during the pandemic and beyond.

Research Methodology

​We will undertake two key research activities at an individual and strategic level utilising a mixed methods approach. Firstly, a representative quantitative online survey to understand the scale and effect of changing police work practices. The survey will focus on the use of digital technology, and how police change and adapt their work practices for COVID-19, and what new practices are emerging. Secondly, a series of short interviews with police and an online workshop at a strategic level with key policing stakeholders. The purpose is to facilitate knowledge exchange of best practice across police services and develop evidence-based policy moving beyond COVID.

Date due for completion

January 2022
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