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The postcode lottery of safety: COVID-19 guidance and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for UK police officers

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Issue number3
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)537-561
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/05/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes to police working practices involving the enhanced wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), and ways of working inside and outside of police stations. The safety guidance released by the various government agencies has been conflicting, confusing and unhelpfully flexible, and there are significant discrepancies between some of the 43 forces of England and Wales. This article draws on primary interview data with 18 police officers from 11 UK police forces to explore the problems that officers faced in accessing appropriate PPE and the difficulties in obtaining and understanding accurate coronavirus health and safety information.