Community resilience during COVID-19

EMPAC is pleased to report here on new social scientific research that is certainly stepping up to the challenge facing us all because of the COVID -19 pandemic. Superintendent Mark Housley of Lincolnshire Police, who leads on EMPAC’s workstream on understanding demand is using a survey to understand community cohesion and resilience to inform community resilience forums.

The research is backed by Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, who said,”as a strategic lead for EMPAC, on behalf of all the other PCCs from the East Midlands region, I fully endorse this valuable piece of work to inform our community safety response to the public. This sort of initiative shows how research can be agile and responsive to changing circumstances, in turn helping policing to be informed by  community needs.”  

Mark is working with team  members amongst EMPAC, including Dr John Coxhead, to deploy a survey of community perceptions that can be directly used to inform local Resilience Forums. The intention is to use the survey dynamically to inform a dashboard for operational leaders in local authorities and emergency services to monitor community perception, safety and tensions. This amounts effectively to a ‘moodometer’,  creating a two-way loop of communication. Pertinent issues to be explored include personal safety, security and altruism at a time of restriction and ‘lockdown’, which are changing people’s everyday lives in such an intrusive and drastic way.  

This most recent survey helps build on previous and ongoing research by Associate Professor Trickett of Nottingham Trent University on community cohesion.  Given the country’s handling of the pandemic is very much dependent on the community, understanding to what extent the communities are feeling positive and resilient is key to the strategic approach led by the UK Government. Although social media is monitored by policing and partners to seek to gauge community views, this survey offers an opportunity to directly target better understanding the social-psychological impact of the rapid changes we’ve all seen in the last few weeks.

Superintendent Mark Housley, of Lincolnshire Police, said, “our current situation is unprecedented in peace time, and all key agencies can benefit in understanding to what extent we’re taking communities with us. We’re interested in using surveys to help inform community concern and tension in real time to inform our joint operational approaches in keeping people safe.” 

See the latest results of the survey here:-

EMPAC invites you to participate in the survey, which only takes a few minutes,  here: –

To learn more about the research contact:- 

Superintendent Mark Housley at:-




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