Policing during the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Greece
Keywords:COVID-19, LEAs, policing, human security, implications
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented modern societies with numerous unprecedented challenges. Indeed, what began as a health emergency evolved into a global crisis, affecting all aspects of organised societal activities, such as the economy, education, travelling, etc. Against this background of unparalleled change, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) have been tasked to perform a wide array of duties, including not only traditional policing but also new tasks related to public health safety, such as enforcing the measures against the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, this expanded portfolio of responsibilities questioned implicitly LEAs’ priorities, emphasising the need for quick adaptation to the new policing needs through a versatile approach to policing. Using Greece as a case study, this paper has a twofold objective: First, to map what have been the most important changes in urban policing during the pandemic, focusing on LEAs’ responsibilities, tasks, mandates, and priorities through the lens of human security. Second, to explore if and how those changes have affected the relationship between civilians and the LEA personnel, emphasising on the perceptions of the latter on the ground of public acceptance of the police’s role compared to the pre-COVID-19 period.