Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Policework, Training and Education

A Portuguese criminal investigation professionals’ perception

  • Ana Cristina Romano
  • Cristina Soeiro
  • João Oliveira
Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, police work, police training


The COVID-19 pandemic has created several challenges for police forces. Whether or not the police can successfully respond to these challenges depends on several issues. These must be identified to improve the police work's impact on each community and society. Laufs and Waseem (2020), in a systematic review on best practices for police response to COVID-19, identify four different contexts related to this issue: 1. Police-community relations; 2. Psychological and mental wellbeing of police officers; 3. Intra-organizational challenges; 4. Inter-organizational collaboration and cooperation. Policing in a pandemic context has changed the type of relations between police officers and the community considering possible variations in crime patterns. Also, officers' proximity with infected persons can be identified as one more daily stressor associated with police work. To mitigate the difficulties, adequate training and education must be set up to improve new competencies that can help police officers cope with anxiety about personal risks and develop new professional strategies to investigate crimes. To improve the knowledge about the changes and challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Portuguese Judiciary Police, the Institute of Judiciary Police and Criminal Sciences has conducted a national-level study. The research was conducted in all the 14 departments of Judiciary Police using an online questionnaire based on a review of the literature. Several issues are identified considering the criminal investigation professionals' perception about the changes in crime patterns, identification of stress factors related to police work and challenges related to training and education strategies to be implemented.


Author Biographies

Ana Cristina Romano

Ana Romano: Instituto de Polícia Judiciária e Ciências Criminais

Cristina Soeiro

Cristina Soeiro: Instituto de Polícia Judiciária e Ciências Criminais

João Oliveira

João Oliveira: Director of Instituto de Polícia Judiciária e Ciências Criminais

How to Cite
Romano, A., Soeiro, C., & Oliveira, J. (2022). Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Policework, Training and Education. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, 22, 187-197. Retrieved from