This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Research Council (ESRC) through the UKRI's rapid response call for research to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reacting to COVID-19 required significant, immediate changes to Government processes including the Criminal Justice System. Clearly, police investigations must continue, and victims, witnesses and suspects of crime must be interviewed. However, lockdowns and social distancing measures means that investigators are unable to conduct interviews, and legal/third party professionals are unable to communicate with clients in a traditional format. Thus, remote communication is one such way currently being conducted across the UK, however, this is not standardised and the current research-base to prove its efficacy is extremely limited.

Our research team comprises experts in the field and will work in collaboration with our national and international partners. We will produce timely and much-needed evidence-based reports and resources to enable immediate and direct impact for our partners and stakeholders. These resources will be available at key stages of the project in order to facilitate shared good practice around two main aspects (comprising four Work Packages):

  • The challenges of conducting interviews remotely via digital means in attempts to gain detailed and accurate information, and;
  • The impact of not having legal and other third party representatives in physical attendance to represent suspects (particularly those who are vulnerable) in the police station.     
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