The Impact that COVID-19 had on the Capacity and Capability of the Police
A Comparison Between the Police in New Zealand and the United Kingdom
Keywords:Policing, COVID-19, New Zealand Police
In early 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) became a pandemic and a worldwide health crisis. In response, governments implemented a number of restrictions, including lockdowns, social distancing, and the requirement to wear face masks. These restrictions were enforced by the police. This article examines the impact that the pandemic had on the capability and capacity of the police in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The examination indicates that COVID-19 had a significantly impacted on both the New Zealand Police and the police in the United Kingdom, but in different ways. The police in the United Kingdom were more affected by the number of sworn staff who were incapacitated by the virus, whereas the police in New Zealand were affected more by the number of incapacitated civilian staff. New Zealand also experienced an increase in reported crime, while the United Kingdom experienced decreases in most crimes, except for anti-social behaviour, organised crime, and cyber-related offences, which all increased.