By Robin Durie and Katrina Wyatt
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt most acutely in our most disadvantaged communities. Recognition of this is at the core of a major Horizon Scanning exercise commissioned by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. A key part of this work is devoted to Police-Community Relations, looking specifically at how the Police can work to help communities build resilience in the wake of lockdown. Based on our collaboration with the Police from our Connecting Communities Programme, we have been invited to write the Report on Police-Community Relations for the overall Horizon Scanning Exercise. In order to do this, we have engaged with residents from four separate communities in the South-West to hear about their experiences of living in lockdown, and how their relations with the Police have been affected by lockdown restrictions. We are now working directly with members of the Police Force to explore how residents’ suggestions for post-lockdown policing might best be implemented; and we intend to use these conversations as the basis for co-creating an application for UKRI funding to support a small project to explore ways in which policing can help enable our most disadvantaged communities build resilience as they emerge from lockdown.