Webinar: Policing, Culture and Community

  • What were the impacts of the West Midlands Police partnership with the Coventry City of Culture Trust?
  • What were the benefits and challenges of a police force engaging with communities through arts and culture?
  • Can arts and culture play a role in addressing the current crisis in police legitimacy?



The webinar took place on Tuesday 14 March 2023.

To address specific Outcomes listed within the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 (UK CoC 2021) Theory/Story of Change, the Coventry City of Culture Trust commissioned a series of focus studies.

This focus study sought to understand the potential for police partnerships around arts and culture to have an impact on police−community relationships.

It explored the benefits of arts and culture as a medium for building empathy and shifting mutual perceptions between police and communities, and examined the complexities and challenges of these endeavours, particularly for seldom-heard communities and people in areas of multiple deprivation.

Research Questions

  • To what extent did the model of partnership with the Coventry City of Culture Trust enable West Midlands Police (WMP) to contribute to the design and delivery of UK CoC 2021 in order to make positive impacts in the city?
  • What were the benefits to WMP and to the Trust in investing in a partnership in the delivery of a cultural mega-event?
  • (How) did the WMP−Trust partnership enable WMP to build relationships with members of the public, in particular young people, seldom heard communities, and those in areas of multiple deprivation?


Target Audience

The event was designed for a range of stakeholders including: members of the police service, artists/creative practitioners, community organisations, academics, students, local administrators, organisers of cultural (mega-)events and members of the public.


A report is available on the Policing, Culture and Community focus study page that provides an overview of findings and conclusions.

A Future Trends paper was also written by the research team: Building Trust in Policing through Arts Collaboration


This webinar was organised by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Operational Police Research (COPR) and the Warwick Institute of Engagement.

It was part of the monitoring and evaluation team’s programme of reflective Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 events.


This website reflects a variety of UK CoC 2021 activities, funded by different funding bodies. It has been created as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project City Change Through Culture: Securing the Place Legacy of Coventry City of Culture 2021 (Grant Reference AH/W008769/1).

Coventry City of Culture 2021 logo Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) logo