The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland is being assisted by academics from Teesside University on a research project to measure public perceptions of policing during Covid-19.
Experts from the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law will be analysing data on the number of enforcement notices and warnings issued by Cleveland Police during the crisis.
The project will also seek views directly from the public on two key themes:
- How communities – particularly ‘at risk’ groups – perceive Cleveland Police’s implementation of the Coronavirus Act powers;
- How communities would like Cleveland Police and the Commissioner’s Office to engage with them during social distancing, when usual face-to-face engagement is limited.
The scope of the research project has been agreed with the Commissioner’s Office, while Teesside University will independently analyse and report on the results.
The findings will be used to assist the Police and Crime Commissioner in his work with Cleveland Police and will give the Force valuable insight from the public as they drive forward their improvement plans.
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “At a time when the police have been granted unprecedented powers, it’s important that we maintain an open dialogue with communities about how their use is being perceived.
“That’s why I’ve taken steps to deepen and amplify my scrutiny programme during the crisis, so I can be assured on behalf of the public that the use of these powers is legitimate and proportionate.
“I’m delighted that we have formed this unique partnership with our valued partners at Teesside University, who will be casting an independent eye over police enforcement and public opinion during Covid-19.
“Their findings will be an invaluable insight into how communities are thinking and feeling about policing during the pandemic, and will be a key driver in improving how my team and the Force engage with communities. I’ll ensure feedback is taken into consideration when developing my 12-month Police and Crime Plan.”
Marty Chamberlain, Professor of Criminology and the University’s lead for its Centre for Social Innovation, added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on everybody’s lives and has given additional powers to law enforcement agencies, which continue to operate in extremely challenging circumstances.
“We are pleased to be able to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cleveland Police to use our expertise to help understand perceptions of policing during these uncertain times.
“This is very much a civic project with links with the University’s broader commitment to the Teesside area. We want to understand people’s individual experiences and points of view and will use these to help inform future practice.”
Cleveland residents can submit their thoughts in confidence at the following secure mailbox: email@example.com. A second phase of research, expected to take place at a later date, will involve members of the public completing a questionnaire or survey.
All submissions are anonymised after receipt and any identifying remarks or features will be removed prior to inclusion in the study.
A project conclusion date has not yet been set, as lockdown continues and it remains unclear when the current legislation will cease.
READ MORE ABOUT THE RESEARCH PROJECT HERE
Posted on Wednesday 29th April 2020