Policing the public over the pandemic
University of Brighton lecturer Dr Lambros Fatsis claims the official response to the coronavirus has been primarily focused on law enforcement rather than an ‘adequate’ public health approach.
As the British public prepares for week five of the current government restrictions, Dr Fatsis, lecturer in Criminology at the university, argues in an article for the British Society of Criminology that law enforcement has taken precedence over the prevention, detection, containment, and eradication of Covid-19.
Whilst the public has largely reacted positively to the guidance, police were recently given unprecedented new powers to tell people that they have to stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave.
Dr Fatsis believes a general change of approach is needed: “Designing public safety, be it from violence or infectious diseases, is not and should not be the exclusive property of the police.
“It can also be practiced in non-coercive means through investment in healthcare, welfare and upheld through social solidarity and mutual aid, not tainted by suspicion, surveillance, punitiveness, or shaming.”