SESSION 2 | Policing In The Time of a Pandemic – Lessons Learnt
Police officers in Member States of CARICOM are serving on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and their duties can bring them in close and frequent contact with suspected and/or confirmed infected persons. The pandemic has inevitably caused a rethinking of how to police a community and maintain the security of their jurisdictions, as well as how to ensure the safety of police officers by preventing them from getting infected with the Covid-19 virus. Police play an essential role in both supporting the implementation of public health measures to contain the pandemic and in preventing and responding to specific criminal activities arising from this context. They are required to maintain public order, including managing gatherings of people, supporting the conduct of contact tracing, responding to jailbreaks and population unrest/riots; ensuring effective border control in some cases; supporting operational duties, securing critical infrastructures such as hospitals, providing secure transport of relief and other critical supplies and assisting with the transfer of COVID-19 patients. In this session, senior Law Enforcement leaders will discuss how the Pandemic has changed the demands on, and expectations of policing at a time when resources are already stretched. The panellist will also discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the effectiveness of policing, including working with increasing new rules, regulations and dealing with new crimes; the managing of operational duties while protecting themselves against infection; and analyse the extent to which police services are and/or must adapt rapidly to a more digital way of working.